Worthing Raiders Rugby Club are expecting to keep hold of all of their players from last season – apart from Jamie Ure who has joined Edinburgh.
Ure, who played for Scotland under-19s last season, has signed an academy contract with Edinburgh, who play in the Pro12 league. He will combine his Edinburgh commitments with playing the majority of his rugby for Boroughmuir in the BT Premiership.
Raiders joint coach Ben Coulson was delighted to see Ure make the move to Edinburgh and feels playing at Worthing is a genuine pathway for young players to progress their careers.
He said: “It’s a brilliant move for Jamie. Like Joe Launchbury, Ryan Storer and Simon Alcott before him, he’s moved to a bigger club which is great for us as well. It shows that playing here is a genuine pathway for players. Jamie is only going to go there and better himself as a player.”
Coulson is not expecting any departures or retirements from last season’s squad and said: “We are keeping everyone, except for Jamie.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing how Pat White develops this year and he’ll be like a new signing. He was injured for most of last season until he came back in March time but he’s a Worthing lad and played in the BUCS final at Twickenham when he was at Leeds Beckett University.
“Then we’ve also got the likes of Jamie Redmayne, who will be coming back from injury which is great. He’s another seasoned pro who you want out there and Rob Smith is already training hard and is excited about the season ahead.”
Raiders return to pre-season training on Tuesday, July 5, before they begin their National 2 South season away to newly promoted Exmouth on September 3.
Coulson said: “I don’t know if it’s a good time to get a newly promoted side first up or not but we’ll do a lot of homework on them. We’ve got a few fixtures in there that are exciting and the league is going to be incredibly tough and challenging this season.
“It seems to be getting tougher every year and we’re under no illusions how difficult it will be. But Jody Levett (joint head coach) and I are excited about the challenge ahead and progressing with all the good work that Nick Bouy and Kieron Dawson did.”
Raiders’ 2016-17 fixtures: Sept 3, Exmouth (a); 10, Barnes (H); 17, Bury St Edmunds (a); 24, Cinderford (4); Oct 1, Old Elthamians (a); 8, Canterbury (H); 15, Clifton (a); 22, Bishop’s Stortford (H); 29, Barnstaple (a); Nov 5, Taunton Titans (a); 12, London Irish (H); 19, Henley Hawks (a); 26, Redruth (H); Dec 3, Chinnor (a); 10, Redingensians (H); 17, Barnes (a); Jan 7, Bury St Edmunds (H); 14, Cinderford (a); 21, Old Elthamians (H); 28, Canterbury (a); Feb 4, Clifton (H); 11, Bishop’s Stortford (a); 18, Barnstaple (H); March 4, Taunton Titans (H); 11, London Irish (a); 25, Henley Hawks (H); Apr 1, Redruth (a); 8, Chinnor (H); 22, Redingensians (a); 29, Exmouth (H).
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