Retention over recruitment has been the Blaydon motto in the off-season and we’ve done a good job of achieving our goals. We only lost two of our players from last season so we feel like it has been a successful off-season. Andy Davies has left to join Newcastle Falcons Full time and Tommy Banks returned home to work, both these guys were massive for us last season however we’ve lined up some pretty handy replacements.
Even though we only lost two players, we were keen to get a little bit more quality in behind the scrum to add to the talent we already have. Two players who impressed last season after a short training spell were Joe Heslop and Ollie Wood. Ollie is a hard-hitting centre that is in the area studying business at Northumbria University, he played for Scunthorpe last season and impressed when he came to train with us. Joe on the other hand is a very illusive outside back that grew up in Barnard castle, he studied at Manchester University and is now working in the area as a nuclear physicist, Both players will bring a good edge to our squad.
The club will have a close working relationship with both Newcastle and Northumbria University, we currently have three players who will balance their university and Club commitments. We have two forwards from Northumbria who will add great value to our pack Victor Guignouard a French hooker, Jack Davison who plays in the back row and then at scrum half we have Rhodri Adamson from Newcastle University, Rhodri went on the England counties tour in the summer and will no doubt flourish under the guidance of ex falcons scrum half Hall Charlton.
Other additions to the squad include young open side Matthew Jenkinson and talented scrum half Nathan horsfall.
Our squad is pretty much finalised for the new season now the hard work of pre-season starts.