After adding South African Troye Streicher to his squad, Graham Richards has said Sudbury Rugby Club need to start looking to Southern Hemisphere players again if they are to move back up the London leagues.
The outside-centre, who spent time at South African powerhouse Natal Sharks as a youngster and played under Richards at St Joseph’s College, has agreed to play for the club until Christmas while he is staying with friends before travelling to America.
“It is something I would like to continue,” said Richards. “Because our level is not professional, we cannot employ them, but we have to look to re-establish a non-professional link with players from the Southern Hemisphere if we are to move forward.
“That is what our competitors do — Ipswich, Colchester, Bury and even Stowmarket, to an extent.
“We started the tradition back in the 80s and 90s, but geared away from it.”
Steicher, 21, impressed in his first Sudbury game as the Blues beat higher-league Saffron Walden 33-19 in their first pre-season friendly, at home on Saturday, in a game played over four 20-minute sessions.
Their final warm-up game takes place this Saturday (3pm) when they host Hadleigh in the now annual Josh Rix memorial match, to remember their 23-year-old prop who died suddenly in January 2012.
He was also was a regular at Hadleigh Cricket Club.
n Sunday morning sees the club hold their youth registration day, with all boys and girls from the ages of six to 18 welcome to attend with all age groups having qualified coaches.