Rugby season kicks off

Ulster skills coach Neil Doak with the Lurgan Rugby Club players before a training session at Pollock Park. INLM3112-147gc
Ulster skills coach Neil Doak with the Lurgan Rugby Club players before a training session at Pollock Park. INLM3112-147gc
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LURGAN First XV kick off their season on Saturday with a trip to Holywood in the Gordon West Trophy, while the Seconds, already with a win under their belt, entertain Holywood’s second string in a league game at Pollock Park.

The Lurgan squad, retaining the majority of last season’s players, has been bolstered with some returning former players and some new faces.

Paul Heasley has returned to Lurgan as coach while last year’s captains have held onto the skippers’ armbands for the coming season.

First XV captain Scott Gardiner: “I have high hopes for this season. It’s good to see a few old faces returning and a few new ones. There is a lot of competition for places this year which is great for the club and for our own personal development.

“With Paul Heasley as coach we are trying a lot of new things as we are getting good numbers to training and I believe this will push the club forward.”

Seconds captain David Harvey said: “Last year the guys showed great spirit, determination and guts throughout the whole campaign. While we finished mid-table in our division, a number of games were lost only by a very narrow margin, and had we turned those games around we could have finished in the top three.

“This time round we have a number of new recruits to the club, a stronger squad strengthened in key positions and many new hungry and ambitious players coming up from our excellent youth set-up who are looking to make their mark.”