North Walsham RFC warming up nicely for the new league season

holt v walsham

holt v walsham - Credit: Archant

Having concluded their pre- season games last Saturday when Holt followed Norwich to Scottow, North Walsham Vikings are having an informal training session on Saturday before opening their league campaign with a visit from Brentwood, who ended last season two places and five points adrift of the Vikings in ninth place.

The visit of Holt will have been adjudged a worthwhile exercise by both coaching teams. This being Holt's first pre-season game they were understandably a bit rusty but showed that come the start of the season they will be a cohesive unit.

With several players still not available for a variety of reasons the Vikings still looked sharp, with some players, including Tom Lomax and Sam Rossi, emulating their fathers, moving up from youth rugby for their first senior games and indicating that with good coaching over several seasons the step up is not as great as some would imagine.

The final score, of academic interest only, was 57-29 to Walsham.

By the time the first game kicks off the effect of players coming and going should be smoothed over but regular supporters could see several unfamiliar faces in the green and black. Among those departing are centre Jack Hoyles, who has decided that the travelling from Cambridgeshire is too demanding and is seeking club a nearer home. Chad Seeley, also a centre, is also moving for the same reason, in his case West Norfolk.

Hooker/flanker Aaron Beaumont travels down the road to Norwich and prop Ben Campbell is staying at York University to study for a Masters degree. Wing Freddie Henley Hunter has moved to Bury St Edmunds and both David Treglown and Rhys Davies-Horne are moving to London and could still be making the journey home to play if practical.

Spectators' favourite Chris Kent is out with injury having suffered broken tibia and fibula playing Rugby League and all at Scottow wish him well.

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Of those incoming, four – prop Tim Weber, flanker Ryan Oakes, full back Jon Younie and lock Toby Salmon – return from University while centre Sam Rhodes has moved back from Cornwall. Centre Jake Colman returns from time spent travelling but is currently recovering from injury. In addition Ashley Speight, who has moved to the area from Darlington, a mobile back rower, and scrum-half Ben Clayphan, who have impressed in pre season, have registered to play at Scottow. In addition there are three or four who Greenhall expects to put pen to paper before the first game.

As well as the comings and goings there has been good news on the injury front. Both Will Hodgson and Callum Cashman were expected to have surgery during the close season to shoulder and knee respectively but both have been advised that the solution to their problems is intensive physio.

Holt continue their preparations for the new London 2NE campaign with a trip to Hertford on Saturday. Their first league game is at Braintree on September 13.