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Stourbridge Rugby 2018-19 Season

By Mark Denison

Director of Rugby, Neil Mitchell, has finalised his squad for the coming season with the main emphasis on strengthening the back line.

2017/18 was a good season for us bearing in mind the awful start we had in pre-season and the upheaval of the mid-season introduction of the AGP. However, we finished a very credible third, albeit probably by default. Unfortunately, we were out of the race for a play-off by March as our player resilience let us down, in particular in the backs. We became too reliant on the same players with only nine backs and as a consequence our Player Coach, Rod Petty, who was not due to feature last term, ended up playing in all 30 games!

I have re-contracted all of the forwards from last season with the only departure being Sam Pailor, who is moving back to Wales. However, I have recruited Number 8, Nick Cairns, from Tynedale who's moving to the region. Nick caused us all sorts of problems last term and it will be great to have him on our side for this season's campaign.

In the back line I have made several additions with Rickie Aley (fly-half) & Adam Shaw (scrum-half) joining us from South Leicester. Luke Veebel (centre) joins us from Leicester Lions and Mark Harrison and Reece Beddows, both wings, joining us from Moseley.

We have also secured dual-registrations with three Warriors senior academy players yet to confirmed, but likely to be a second row, scrum-half and utility back row.

The focus has not just been about the back line. Our front three is bristling with experience and talent but for all sorts or reasons last season the fitness levels of our front row on the whole was nowhere near were it should have been. I have spoken with all the props and hookers about this and the buy in has been total. Andy Tompkins, our Wattbike guru, has been working all of the front row hard since early June and already the improvements in fitness levels have been significant across the board.

We have three very good tests ahead in pre-season with our games against Bridgnorth, Dings Crusaders and Bees. Fylde have made it known they want an immediate return to National One and with Hull Ionians, Sedgley, Tynedale, Chester, Preston and Hinckley all adding to strong squads from last season it is going to be a very competitive league yet again. That said regardless of what other clubs are doing, we are working very hard to make sure we fully prepared for the challenges ahead.


Playing Squad 2018-2019

Mark George (3/1)
Tim Daly (1/3)
Adam Sturdy (1)
Chad Thorne (3)
Steph Thorpe (1/3)
Jack Lea (2)
Sam Wilkes (2)
Jack Spencer (3/2)
Nick Murphy (5)
Llyr Griffiths (4)
Liam Mather (4/5/6)
Nigel Mukarati (6/8)
Niall Gibbons (6/7)
Sam Montieri (7)
Nick Cairns (6/8) - Tynedale
Rob Connelly (8/12)

Ben Tibbets (9)
Adam Shaw (9) - South Leicester
Chris Scott (10/12)
Ricky Alley (10/15) - South Leicester
Dan Rundle (11/14)
Recce Beddows (11/14) - Moseley
Mark Harrison (11/14) - Moseley
Rod Petty (Cover)
George Morgan (12/13)
Hal Riley (13)
Luke Veebel (12/13) - Leicester Lions
Joe Heatley (13/15)

Updated 13:57 - 30 Jul 2018 by Mark Denison

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