Head Coach Dom Saunders’ thoughts on Pre-Season

How do you feel the squad have performed during Pre Season?

It’s been a really pleasing pre-season from my perspective, after last year we had to quickly learn some tough lessons and realise we needed to work far harder and smarter if we are to achieve anything as a group. We therefore stripped it all back and went back to basics. The most pleasing aspect about pre-season so far has been the way the players have bought into the culture that we are trying to create at the club, its been great to see the boys turning up to training and running around with a smile on their faces. This has meant numbers at training have been consistently rising and the boys are really seeing their hard work come to fruition. From a playing perspective we have added a greater detail to our game both technically and tactically and the lads have reacted well to it which has allowed for the boys to see real improvements in their game.

Did anybody surprise you with their fitness in the off season?

To be fair a few of the lads had clearly worked hard in the off season and turned unto pre-season in good shape, while some others clearly enjoyed their off season slightly more!! But since word go the boys have worked very hard in training and the testing has certainly showed their hard work is paying off!!

What pleases you most from the squad’s first outing? 

It was a great first hit out against Old Wills last week and good to catch up with their lads where we have built up a good relationship between the clubs. It certainly didn’t have the feel of a pre-season friendly with both teams giving their all in defence. From our perspective it was great to see the areas we have been working on in training being used on the pitch, especially our transitional plays. But more importantly it was great just to see the lads go out their and have the freedom to express themselves. Its fair to say selection won’t be an easy task come the 8th September with all the boys putting their hands up for selection. Lastly it was great to see the togetherness within the squad, across all three thirds I thought our energy and buy-in to the processes and the boys certainly enjoyed a beer with each other after the game.

What excites you most for the coming season?

We have said from the first get together at pre-seaon there is no end goal and we certainly aren’t going out there making any rash statements about league positions or cup runs. The boys know if they stick to doing the small things really well and buying into what we are creating here the end goal will take care of itself come April!  As for me personally Im just excited to see how far this group of boys can go, its been great to welcome some new boys into the squad and they have fitted in seamlessly. Now its just for the boys to go out on the pitch and in training and enjoy their rugby and we will see where we are at soon enough.

Its an exciting time for the club and its great seeing the club all pull in the same direction. I hope to see you all on the touchline soon!!


Come on the anchs!!





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