Sudbury Rugby Club coach Ben Scully will be spoilt for choice for Saturday’s opening London League Division Two North East fixture at home to Rochford Hundred (3pm).
“We have two or three players challenging for each position,” he said. “It’s a headache, but with our stronger and deeper squad than last season, it’s one I shouldn’t complain about.”
Scully has brought in five new players and, with his emphasis on a squad, knows he will disappoint some players when the team is announced at training tonight.
Former North Walsham forward Chris Kent came to pre-season training looking for a change of club and has settled in well.
Three players - hooker Mike Goodbourne, hooker/back row James Fisher and winger Lorcan Webb - have moved from Colchester, and Louis Hicks, a second row currently at Nottingham University, will be available for matches.
From last season’s squad Chris Lewis and Charlie McGuiness are both university bound, but available outside term time. Adam Kroon has signed for Bury St Edmunds, and Dan Taylor moved to new employment in the Midlands.
Scully has been happy with the pre-season performances, their last one producing a 63-38 victory over Heathfield and Waldron.
“In all our games we have pulled away towards the end.
“The boys are the fittest I have seen them, which is a tribute to the work conditioning coach Adam Prescott has put in.”
Sudbury were relegated from London One North after one season at the higher level, but Scully is making no predictions about bouncing straight back.
“The boys have set themselves some goals for the season. I’ve set some goals.
“But we will keep them in house at present, and move and manage them as the season goes on.”
One thing Scully is expecting is that the rugby on offer at Whittome Field this season will be fast and exciting.
“The boys have had a little more time to get used to what Neil Dachtler and I want from them.
“I’m encouraging them to find solutions to problems on the run rather than look to me all the time.
“We want to offer an exciting brand of rugby, and that’s where the 16th man can be so vital.
“The support we get from the crowd is brilliant, and the boys appreciate the lift they get.”
First team captain Jake Thurlow missed last week’s game with a hand injury, but is expected to be fit.
Meanwhile, Halstead Templars are back in action on Saturday, hosting Hadleigh in the Eastern Counties Division Two South.
Halstead have played two home pre-season games, beating Felixstowe 45-7 and Runwell 22-17.
These matches saw debuts for front row trio Simon Knight, Jamie Townsend and Steve Holland, along with half-back Liam Sturgett.
The Templars train at the Pit on Wednesdays at 7pm. New players are always welcome.