Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club's Player of The Year Sam Bixby is set to return to boyhood club Sudbury in a transfer coup for Ben Scully's side
Sam Bixby is set to return to Sudbury for next season, back with the club he left to join Bury St Edmunds in 2011, writes Ken Watkins.
Bixby, who was first team Player of the Year 2018 at the National League 2 South club – two levels higher than Sudbury – will link up with his Whittome Field colleagues when pre-season training starts in July.
“For him to say he’s coming back is an exciting bonus for the squad,” said Sudbury coach Ben Scully. “He’s a good physical ball player, experienced in a tough league.”
Scully is also in talks with a couple of other players who, he feels ‘could come in and really boost our squad’.
But Sudbury will be missing Chris Whybrow next season with family and business interests meaning the long-serving forward is no longer able to commit to playing regularly.
Whybrow was named Sudbury’s Player of the Game against Ruislip on Saturday, and Scully hopes that will not prove his last match.
“We’re hoping we’ll get some more out of him,” said Scully. “He’s been an absolutely fantastic player for my three years here, and many years before that. He’s a club stalwart, first team regular, one of the first names on the teamsheet week in week out.
“I don’t think this is totally the end, but he has a young family, and work, and unfortunately he’s said he can’t commit that time. He’ll be missed not being around every week, but he goes away with the team’s best.”
Sudbury’s season may have ended, but Scully, as well as planning for next season at the club, is now turning his attention to Norway, where he is the head coach, but will be bowing out after the country’s final European championship game.
Scully will run a training camp in Norway at the end of April, involving 30 players, two days training followed by a game against Wales Deaf.
“This will be a good test of where we are. It’s a really exciting opportunity to play against a team you wouldn’t regularly come across. We are building towards matches against Latvia in May and Finland at the start of June.”
* In Greene King IPA Eastern Counties 1 Shield, Hadleigh finished with a 14-14 draw at third-placed Newmarket to just about hold on to second place. It is believed that, pending confirmation from the RFU on movement down the pyramid, it could be enough for promotion. But it is likely they will have to wait several weeks yet to find out where they will be playing next season.
In Eastern Counties 1 Bowl, both Halstead Templars and Sudbury Talbots (II) went down to defeats in their last matches of the campaign.
Halstead finished second-from-bottom with a third straight defeat, going down 27-15 at home to third-placed Norwich II.
Meanwhile, Sudbury II finished fourth following their 47-24 loss at bottom side Saffron Walden II.