A new season with new players, new coaches and new pitches for London Scottish, Rosslyn Park and Wimbledon
It’s all change at London Scottish this summer with 17 players coming in and 14 leaving as they prepare to launch another assault on the Greene King IPA Championship.
In a squad of 36, there are 11 new faces who have signed permanently and six who are on duel registration from Premiership teams Harlequins, Bath and Gloucester.
Many of the new faces made their debut in Scottish’s only pre-season friendly last week, when they beat Rotherham Titans 21-7 at the Athletic Ground.
Among the new arrivals are Scotland age-group representatives second-row Neale Patrick, scrum-half Russell Weir and prop David Young.
There is Premiership experience in the shape of second-row Will Carrick-Smith from Exeter Chiefs and from the Pro12 as Tyrone Moran has signed from Leinster.
The three Quins players to join on dual registration are flanker James Chisholm, centre Joe Marchant and second-row Kieran Treadwell, who all have England U20 caps.
The squad has a total of 10 Scottish qualified players in the squad to keep up with tradition.
Among those to leave was scrum-half Jamie Stevenson, who has made the step up to the Premiership with Wasps , but head coach Peter Richards is happy with the players at his disposal.
“I’m really happy with the make-up of the squad. There is genuine competition in every position across the board,” he said.
“We have some quality individuals joining us and it will be mutually beneficial to all parties that they continue to learn their trade in what’s a really competitive league.
“It is also great to have that element of continuity.
“When I joined last year we had 18 new players and I think this year we have 11 new signings. In pre-season we can see the benefits of this.”
Scottish face Moseley in the first game of the season on September 4.
Last season’s National League One runners-up Rosslyn Park will again be looking to challenge for promotion to the Championship, but this time with a new head coach and a new pitch.
Alex Codling moved to take up a job in Ireland over the summer so former London Scottish coach James Buckland arrived to take the reins, while a new artificial surface was laid at The Rock.
Park defeated Welsh Premiership side Newport 57-26 and scored eight tries in their first pre-season friendly and first game on the new surface two weeks ago, and then beat Cardiff 46-23 last Saturday.
Their final pre-season game is at home to Chinnor on Friday and the season starts against newly-promoted Henley Hawks on September 5.
Founding members of the Rugby Union Wimbledon celebrate their 150-year anniversary this year and will do it in National Three London and SE after winning London One South last year.
The Dons have Harlequins legend and England World Cup hopeful Nick Easter installed as head coach and have recently added current Quins and ex New Zealand fly-half Nick Evans as their backs coach.
Their pre-season preparations have seen them lose two weekends in a row against Guildford and Barnes, with their season starting at home to Shelford on September 5.
Feature image of Peter Lydon, left, of London Scottish with the Championship trophy
- London Scottish embrace underdog tag as they enter Championship play-offs against Worcester Warriors10000London Scottish will be eyeing a place in the Aviva Premiership for the first time in 16 years when they face Worcester Warriors in the Championship play-offs tomorrow. Scottish finished third in the regular season but are underdogs against Worcester, who finished second, runners-up to Bristol Rugby. But Exiles coach…
- 10000Rosslyn Park announced the appointment of a new head coach James Buckland today, who will join them as they prepare for their upcoming season. Buckland, 33, has a long career both on and off the field, playing for teams including London Wasps and England Saracens before moving into professional coaching…