I have spoken to Havant Rugby Clubâ€™s Head Coach, Will Knight about the coming season. Will said â€˜Most of the coaching team will be in place again for 2015/16.
â€˜We have considerable experience on the coaching side, including Dylan Raubenheimer, Rob Davey and Lewis Osborne, who are all knowledgeable ex-1st XV players.â€™
Speaking about the team for the coming season, Knight added â€˜The Senior Menâ€™s team squad returned for the start of training at end of June. A number of players have come back from injuries picked up at the end of last season. We also have some new faces, notably Gavin Hart, an experienced forward returning to the club after time at Bournemouth and Basingstoke. We also have a crop of good young players coming through from the Academy.â€™
â€˜Early training will focus on fitness and core skills. As the season gets under way the emphasis will increasingly be on tactics and match day game plans.â€™ I asked Will about the first XVâ€™s aspirations for the 2015/16 season. He said â€˜The players are setting their targets for at least a fifth or preferably fourth place finish in the league. They have also set their sights on retaining the prestigious Hampshire Cup. They were delighted to regain it at Gosport at the end of last season.
The aim for the Dolphins (the second XV) and the third XV, is to win their leagues. As a Club we are also keen to provide social rugby for members wishing to play games on that basis. We will therefore try for a â€˜fourthâ€™ team to facilitate this. The aim would be to play these social games twice per month.â€™
Club Rugby Development Officer, Joel Knight has resigned from this position. Postcode can confirm that having done the job for two seasons, Joel wishes to pursue other career activities. Joel was the first HRFC Rugby Development Officer and the Club is actively seeking his replacement. Joel has spent time in the close season travelling, but will return as first team captain for 2015/16. He will be supported by Joe Davies as Vice-Captain. It has also been confirmed that the position of Club Captain will be fulfilled by Pete Living. Pete will also continue in his role as Dolphins Captain.
Off the field, members of the Rugby Club have agreed important changes to the way the club will operate in the future. The changes, needed to comply with the RFUâ€™s accreditation obligations, also fit with the clubâ€™s aspiration to become fully integrated and incorporated. The constitutional changes agreed included:
- the integration of the mini and junior sections within the basic club membership, and;
- the cessation of squash at the club.
Assimilation of the mini and junior sections within the basic club membership structure was felt to be an important step forward for the club.
Members have been working hard in the close season preparing the Club House, pitch and pitch surrounds for the forthcoming season.
The Ladies organised an Open Day in June for girls aged 12 â€“ 18 years. The purpose was to recruit for the Girls U18â€™s team. Any girls interested in playing womenâ€™s rugby or having any questions should visit the clubs website at www.havantrfc.co.uk or contact Alice on 07525051342 or Maria on 07772600568.