STAMFORD Town host Deeping RFC tomorrow in the now regular opening day derby between the two sides.
Town’s new skipper Matt Albinson predicts a feast of flowing rugby at Empingham Road tomorrow afternoon and said: “We beat them by a wide margin last year.
“I expect a closer game this time but I think out fitness and style will see us through.
“Compared to other sides we play, we like to run the ball a lot. The key thing for us to gat the ball out to the backs and we want to put on spectacle.”
The Green Machine will be keen to put an early dent in Town’s promotion plans but Albinson believes the Stamford squad is as strong as ever.
He said: “After coming close last year, we are certainly looking for promotions.
“The squad is looking strong and we have recruited a few new faces. We are still a fairly young side but I would say we are one of the favourites. We came third last year so really we were the best of the rest.”
And, in a warning to other sides, he added: “We will get stronger as the season goes on.
“We usually gain a few Stamford School players back after Christmas.”
Consolidation of their East 4 (South) division place is Stamford College Old Boys’ key aim according to skipper Carl Walker.
He said: “Our target for the year is to get a settled side.
“We have about 25 players on the books but we have struggled for the last few years and we want to be mid-table this season.”
Second row Paul Wright and new prop Tom Lamb will be among the key figures if the Old Boys are to do well, and Walker added: “I would say our pack is one of our strengths.
“But we have a rejuvenated back line this year with a couple of younger lads. We are looking to surprise a few teams this year.”
Stamford College Old Boys begin their league campaign against Oundle at the Queen Eleanor School tomorrow at 3pm.
Oundle ended their pre-season with a 26-19 victory against Bedford Swifts.
Coach Pete Croot said: “The boys have been working hard in training and with newcomers fitting in well. I will be keen to see a good performance from the team.
“We have been disappointed with coming so close over the past few years to promotion, this year I want to build a side that is not only capable of gaining promotion but maintaining at the next level.”
Tomorrow’s matches start at 3pm.