Rotherham Titans want to bury last season’s disappointment as their squad overhaul continues.
The club finished bottom of the Greene King IPA Championship in 2016/17 - the second tier of English rugby - and were only spared relegation because London Welsh were liquidated.
Fourteen new faces have arrived at Clifton Lane with more on the way. The club have also agreed deals to retain 12 players from last year.
Spokesman Tony Jenkinson said: “The mood at Clifton Lane on and off the pitch is amazingly positive ahead of the new season - there’s a buzz around the place. The players return this week for pre-season and the new coaching staff will get into them, get them fit and run the patterns.”
Jenkinson was reserved on the club’s ambitions for the upcoming season: “That’s the future. In pre-season everyone’s excited, raring to go, optimistic. The Championship starts and then after three or four games you start to get an idea of the level that you’re at.”
The team will aim to improve under new head coach Andy Key.
“Everyone that comes in has got to be capable of performing” said Jenkinson. “We haven’t got the resource to carry boys. We’ve got to believe that they have the ability when we put them.”
Jenkinson says the squad overhaul is not a sign of instability.
“There’s always a massive turnover of players at most clubs in the Championship. Things are always tight [financially].
“I think there’s only three of Premiership clubs who turn a profit. You have got two thirds of premiership clubs running at a loss and reliant on many factors.”
He added: “This is kind of the norm be honest. We tend to keep about ten or twelve and bring in about twenty new players. It’s just the way this club operates.”