NEIL Shillingford says he'll make sure his Dudley Kingswinford players don't get caught up in the occasion when they kick-off their league season against rivals Stourbridge Lions.

DK begin against their newly-promoted neighbours at Heathbrook this Saturday (3pm kick-off).

The director of rugby says everyone is looking forward to the occasion but underlined the importance of staying focused.

He said: "It's a great way to start the season for the club and the spectators and hopefully we can get a good crowd down as well.

"It's a case of hyping it up for everyone else but playing it down a little for the players.

"We will just be treating it like the first step and nothing more than that. We will break down the season into small segments and are focused on just the first month and where we are after that.

"It would be great to get off to a good start but we need to make sure we stay focused and stick to our game plan."

DK began the campaign with a 20-17 North Mids Cup win at Hereford last Saturday.

"I'm happy with the result but we could have been better in the second half," added Shillingford.

"We were good in the first half but didn't manage the second half as well. We had a few players missing and didn't have the combinations we'd have liked. It felt like we were putting the finishing touches to our pre-season so hopefully we'll be better for it.

"The important thing was that we got the win away from home."

Rich Kelley should overcome a back injury to feature this weekend but Dan Hawkins may miss out due to a hamstring problem.

Shillingford wants to be in the promotion shake-up this season and is pleased with his options heading into the new campaign.

"Everything has gone really well and I'm happy with the players we have. We may be a little light in the second row area but there are a few players coming back that will be able to help us with that.

"Our aim is to get ourselves in the promotion picture and there is no reason why we can't do that.

"We also took a second 15 to Hereford and included some of the colts. They did really well and it showed us that we have options at the club that we can also call on as the season goes on."