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Norman Angell’s season preview

Hull RUFC can look forward to the new season with great confidence despite narrowly missing promotion last season. Three pre-season friendly games were all won in fine style with the side looking very sharp and new players blending in very well.
Four new players have been signed during the close season and they are; Tom O’Donnell, a back-rower from Hull Ionians who has also played for Otley; Keane Naylor from Harrogate and Ben Winterburn from Ionians who are both three-quarters; and last but certainly not least Simon Humberstone, a fly-half with a good pedigree having played for Pontypridd, Cardiff Blues and Doncaster Knights, who were his last club. There are also another couple in the pipeline who are likely to join us.
We have lost just two players from last year’s side, namely back-rowers Liam Fitts and Zak Poole. Liam has taken up a job in Australia and Zak, who was on loan to us from Ionians and had promised to sign for us for this season has joined Rotherham Titans in National Division One. Zak had an excellent season with us and also made a name for himself with the English Counties side on tour to Georgia in the early part of the close season. I am sure that we all wish him well at Rotherham and we also send our good wishes to Liam on his move to Australia.
We will be facing new opposition in the Northern Premier League this season with four new clubs to compete against. Blaydon were relegated from National Two North at the end of last season and will be eager to return to the higher level; Alnwick were promoted as champions of North East One and Vale of Lune as champions of North West One; the final place goes to Wilmslow who won the runners-up play-off against Driffield. We will be treading new ground at Blaydon, Vale of Lune and Wilmslow, but we have met Alnwick in our days in the old North East One and Two and it will be nice to cross swords with them once again. They are a very nice club with a ground that can be seen from the A1(M) and are renowned for their fine hospitality.
We begin our season with a tough game at Rossendale on September 1st against a side who will be keen to do something about the double we did over them last season and our first home game is on September 8th when we entertain Wirral.
We hope you have all enjoyed the fine summer we have had and hope to see you all at the Ferens Ground on September 8th.

Compiled by Norman Angell

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