Mitchell excited by Stour's attacking threat ahead of new season

First published in Sport by

STOURBRIDGE director of rugby Neil Mitchell says he is excited by his team's new attacking prowess as they prepare to kick-off a new campaign.

Mitchell has retained a number of last season's squad and recruited a host of talent from the local area as Stour aim to mount another promotion push from National League Two North.

However, the most important addition could prove be new head coach Jon Higgins.

He played for the Stourton Park club before taking a player/coach role with neighbours Dudley Kingswinford, where he guided the Heathbrook outfit to back-to-back promotions.

After taking a year out last season, he has now been tempted to help boost Stourbridge's cause.

Mitchell can already see Higgins' attacking brand of rugby being implemented by the players.

He said: "It's a very exciting time. We have a different, more attacking style that has already shown its great potential.

"Jon is a well respected coach throughout Midlands rugby and has really added to our game.

"Defensively we were feared last season. We are very strong in that area so it's great to add a different attacking threat."

Stourbridge will be looking to improve on last season's third place finish, which saw them suffer promotion heartache for the second year running when missing out on a play-off place on points differential in the last game of the 2013/14 season.

They will start the new campaign at Harrogate this Saturday - the venue where last season’s campaign ended in disappointment.

New boys Steve Blackburn, a loosehead prop from Bromsgrove, and Alex Moy, a scrum half brought in from Launceston, could feature on Saturday.

Nathan Bressington and Robbie Hurrell are slight injury concerns but Stef Cooksammy and Ciaran Moore could be on hand.

Also in the mix will be for DK outside half Gareth Bown.

"It is important we hit the ground running," added Mitchell. "It is an imporatnt game for us because we want to make our mark early in the season."

The club's first home game will be on September 13 when they take on Herefordshire outfit Luctonians.

Meanwhile, there is rugby at Stourton Park this weekend when Stourbridge Lions take on Coleshill’s Old Saltleians in the second round of the North Midlands Shield.

The Lions will have their first look at opposition from their new home in Midlands Two West (North) after being transferred during the off-season shake up.

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