One player who will be keeping an eye on Hull RUFC’s result at Bishop’s Stortford will be Simon Humberstone. The fly-half played a major role to help the team achieve promotion form National 2 North last season with some commanding performances and with some crucial kicks. Humberstone, who retired at the end of the season after a long and distinguished career, reflects on the pride he has for the time he spent at Chants Ave. So how did he end up in Hull in the first place?
“I joined Hull RFC through chance, as I bumped into Martin Webdale out on a bike ride on my way to the shop in my local village,” Humberstone said.
“I had no idea he was living one village down from me, having been two years above me in university.
“My long and close friendship with Mike Dias and knowing Gary through his days coming to watch us train at Doncaster, also helped.
“Mine and my partner’s planned trip to Hong Kong for a few seasons had just fallen through as we’d just found out she was pregnant with our first child.
“As soon as I found out there was an opportunity to join Hull to continue playing alongside my new career it was a no brainer.
“I was not sure what to expect turning up to my first session, but I was presently surprised by the group of players and the quality around and you could immediately see huge potential in the entire group.
“As we set out on our journey, I was even more impressed by the close knit nature of the group, the culture and drive and knew we would be successful over the coming seasons.
“The way we swept National 3 aside on the way to promotion was fun, but this group needed a proper test and we found this in National 2 North.
“The first year was a scrap for survival initially until we eventually found our feet in the second half of the season.
“Then last year was a challenge to turn up every week and produce a level of performance that could get us a win every week.
“The two seasons were exactly the sort of scraps I love to be involved in and it was an absolute joy to see the group adjust, adapt and improve as we went along and to achieve promotion at the end of it was probably more than any of us expected at the start of the year.
“It was such a fantastic reward for the whole group and for me personally to finish my career.
“From the group I arrived to in national 3 to the similar group of players I left at the end of last season was nearly unrecognisable.
“Now they get to go and test themselves in National 1 which is a fantastic reward.”
So how does he feel having playing a crucial role in lifting the club to new heights?
“I feel exceptionally fortunate and proud to have been involved in the last three years with this club and this group of players,” he said.
“I am forever thankful to everyone involved for helping me to enjoy and fall back in love with the game during my final three years of playing.
“I’m sad in a way not to be able to continue to share the field with them all, but my time has come and I am thankful to have had the career I’ve had.
“I will now be number one spectator and look forward to seeing what this team can continue to write in this most successful chapter ever for Hull RUFC.”