RUGBY UNION: New blood and new optimism for St Neots

New St Neots Rugby Club signings Luke Marfleet and Ross Hubbard.

New St Neots Rugby Club signings Luke Marfleet and Ross Hubbard. - Credit: Archant

St Neots skipper Matt Cartwright is confident the club can leave the Midlands Division Three East (South) basement behind them.

Saints endured a torrid first season at that level as they finished rock-bottom after winning promotion with a perfect record in the previous campaign.

But a restructuring of the leagues means they remain at the same level and they are determined to come back fitter, stronger and harder with a squad boosted by new arrivals.

Cartwright said: “Our first season in Division Three proved to be very tough – both physically, due to a high number of injuries, and mentally, as we often failed to raise our game when staring at a heavy defeat.

“I’m massively confident that we can perform to our potential this season. We have bolstered the squad with numerous new players coming in for pre-season training.

“The overall attitude and the team spirit are both excellent and we’re now fine tuning our strategies and technical skills as we move closer to the start of the season.

“Hopefully the new blood, coupled with the new levels of enthusiasm, will stand us in good stead for a better season.”

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Second-rower Ross Hubbard has arrived from Hove while young back-row forward Luke Marfleet has joined from Mersea Island.

Brothers Kieran, Kyle and Kalem Martin have all committed to return to the club while Joe Woodgate and Ed Hunt are back from long-term injuries.

St Neots’ first league game is at Biggleswade on September 10.

The club field three senior teams in all and are keen to attract new players of all abilities.

Training is at their base at The Common on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7.30pm.