New director of rugby Dave Morris is preparing for his first-ever season in the Greene King IPA Championship and is pleased with what he’s seen so far at new-club London Scottish.
Morris spent 12 years with Loughborough Students, who compete in National League 1, before moving to the Athletic Ground at the end of last season.
And while Morris admitted it was a difficult decision to leave the East Midlands, he’s incredibly excited to test himself in English Rugby’s second tier.
“London Scottish is a club with huge history and heritage, I’ve been very impressed with the people there, they’ve made me feel extremely welcome, myself and my family,” he said.
“For me rugby clubs are first and foremost about people, and their contribution to the club.
“I’m really proud to say that there’s a lot of people and no matter how large or small they’re all pulling in the same direction – for London Scottish.
“I think that’ll be very strong for us over the course of the season.
“I was definitely ready for a new challenge so when I was approached by London Scottish, this is going to give me different experiences that I wouldn’t get at Loughborough.
“I’m keen to be the best I can be and keep developing myself, so this felt like a really good fit, and also for the family.”
London Scottish struggled to just seven wins from their 20 games last season and were 18 points off reaching the end-of season play-offs – which have been scrapped for this season.
Morris has been busy in the transfer market during the off-season with centre Ben Mosses, prop Ben Christie, hooker Isaac Miller and No.8 Ed Milne all joining the club.
“I really had to prioritise what I wanted to do, so the first thing was about recruitment,” Morris added.
“We’ve really tried to get to know what their aspiration is in rugby, so in our squad we’ve got a mix of people with different journeys to London Scottish.
“I think that leadership and life experiences will be invaluable for us moving through the course of the season.
“I’m happy with what they bring as players but from what I’ve seen so far I’m also really happy with what they bring as people in and around the environment.”
And Morris believes a real mix of experience throughout the squad will be a huge plus for the squad in the new season.
“There’s people at lots of different stages in their careers,” he said.
“There are some guys who this is an opportunity for, they have the opportunity to be within the Championship environment, and see if they can develop their game and push through into solid Championship players.
“And then you’ve got some guys who’ve been in and around the Championship and higher for a period of time, who are looking at some of their other aspirations in their life, whether it be careers in the city or coaching.
“Most importantly they still absolutely love the game and are passionate about doing well for the club.”
The Greene King IPA Championship is the second tier of professional rugby in England. To keep up to date with the latest news and features follow @ChampRugby on Twitter