Wath RUFC are hoping that a busy pre-season shopping spree will see them improve on last season’s fourth place in the Yorkshire One table.
Wath begin their 2013/14 league campaign on Saturday, away at Heath, with a new coaching structure in place, overseen by former Doncaster & Halifax lock Richard Hill.
Hill heads up a coaching team which also includes new defence coach Joe Bartlett, and former Sheffield RUFC hooker Carl Mortimer who will work with the club’s forwards.
Andrew Appleyard - formerly of Barnsley, and a South Yorkshire Rugby Development Officer - also joins as a backs coach.
On the playing field, Wath have been busy too; signing scrum half/full back Ian Barker from North East side Wheatley Hills, centre/wing Tom Swann from Rotherham Clifton and Martin Balshaw from Sheffield.
“Add to this the great numbers at pre-season training for all senior sides,” a club spokesperson said, “and signs are good for the season ahead.”
The first pre-season game saw Wath overcome Barnsley 52-0, and the Development XV - who last season finished top of their merit league - also enjoyed a 40-point win over Stocksbridge. Last Saturday, the first team lost to Bradford Salem in the Yorkshire Shield, but will be encouraged by a number of good individual performances and tries scored.
The Development XV welcomed a strong Selby XV to Moor Road and came away with a hard earned 19-0 victory, ahead of their first league game next week.
Last season, the third and fourth team at Wath finished in the top three of their respective divisions, and much emphasis is being placed upon the importance of youth this season.
The club has an ever-increasing junior section, and both the Under-16s and Under-14s enjoyed successful seasons last year.
The juniors had a similarly good start to this season, as they travelled to Castleford 7s last weekend.
The U14 side were undefeated all day, winning the final against the hosts by four tries to one, and the U16s only narrowly lost to the hosts in the final.
Players of any age or ability interested in joining the club, can contact Becca Bird on 07772870954, visit www.wathrufc.co.uk or follow the club on Twitter: @WathRugby.