Captain Long backs rejuvenated Wisbech Rugby Club for quickfire promotion charge
CAPTAIN Tom Long has backed relegated Wisbech Rugby Club for a quickfire return to London North East Division Three.
The Harecroft Road outfit crashed out of the league by just a point after an epic fight for survival last season.
One more try would have been enough to defy a 13-point deduction - imposed for fielding an ineligible player in a win over Newmarket - and keep them up.
But the club have regrouped - with a string of new players joining the ranks for a title challenge in the Greene King IPA Eastern Counties Division One.
Centre John Turner, from Newmarket, prop Dave Lamacraft, from North Walsham and utility forward Chris Dorling, who had been playing for the RAF, have all been training with Wisbech.
Captain Long said: “It’s testament to the team spirit that we have in the changing room that we’ve brought in players and not really lost them. It’s a young determined squad who are all very keen to play for the club.
“The aim will be to get promoted straight away. It’s a tricky league to get out of but everybody wants to do it.”
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The relegation means that Wisbech will be serious contenders in the Junior Vase - rather than challenging in the senior competition - and Long said the players were already dreaming of a trip to Twickenham.
“The main focus needs to be the league but the cup is there for us to try and give the club a bit of notoriety,” he said.
“The vase is the only way that a lot of our players will ever get to play at Twickenham. That’s a very big carrot for everybody.
“We have been training since July and that’s our statement of intent. We want to go into that first league match in the right frame of mind.”
Wisbech will be without Andy McCubbin and Chris Newns for their promotion push - after the pair moved to Canada. The club begin their pre-season preparations with a tour to Canterbury later this month.
• Wisbech Rugby Club hold their annual fun day on Saturday with a host of attractions coming to Harecroft Road. For more information on the club including this season’s fixtures visit: www.wisbechrugby.com