HENLEY HAWKS’ plans for the new rugby season are well under way ahead of the new
HENLEY HAWKS’ plans for the new rugby season are well under way ahead of the new season which kicks off on September 10.
Despite a disappointing season where the Hawks were relegated to National Division 2 South, director of rugby Nigel Dudding has managed to hold on to the majority of his squad for next season as they attempt to bounce straight back to the third tier.
However, a number of dual registered players will not be returning to Dry Leas as they have since been selected for England representative sides.
Jack Willis (back row) and Tom West (prop) will be playing for England U20s in the World Cup while Oskar Hirskyj-Douglas (back row) is now in the full England Sevens side that play in the IRB International World Sevens Tournament. In addition scrum-half Connor Murphy has been retained by London Irish.
The Hawks are looking to recruit players with Division 1 experience and young players of talent with a number of players from the successful Henley College side stepping up to the Dry Leas squad. A number of these players played for the Bulls in the Zoo Premier Division 1 last season, a competition consisting of second teams of clubs in Division 1 as well as the Championship. Half a dozen of the players have come through the junior ranks at Henley from U6 level.
No pre-season matches will take place at Dry Leas this season due to the ongoing building work taking place. Instead the Hawks have linked up with Abbey Rugby Club to use their Rosehill ground at Emmer Green for some of their pre-season preparations.
Henley will play a double header at Rosehill on August 13 when the Hawks will host Richmond (kick-off 4pm) after the Bulls have played host club Abbey at 2pm. The Hawks will then face two away friendlies against UWIC in Cardiff on August 20 and Banbury on August 25.
Players are due to return to training on the week commencing July 4.