Turner confirms squad for new season
As momentum builds towards Ampthill’s preseason friendly against Nottingham next Saturday ahead of the club’s inaugural appearance in the Premiership Rugby Cup, Head Coach Paul Turner has confirmed squad details for the 2023-24 season.
Sixteen members of the 2022-23 squad that finished eighth in the RFU Championship are retained for the coming season
As previously announced, Morgan Strong captains the Mob in his second season with the club after joining from Ospreys last summer. Strong was top try-scorer last season and his consistent performances earnt him a place in the Championship Team of the Season.
12 years after first signing for the club, Joe Bercis will look to become the record appearance holder in Maroon & Gold – he goes into the new season on 181, only 3 appearances behind 1881 coach Gavin Williams.
Hooker Syd Blackmore aims to break into the 100 club in his eighth season with Ampthill whilst Welsh Lock Cai Devine is back for a third season for the Mob.
Prop Zac Nearchou and Hooker Beck Cutting both joined the club midway through last season following the unfortunate events at Wasps and Worcester Warriors respectively. Both will be building on their big impacts in their first full seasons at Dillingham Park.
Tighthead Prop Dom Hardman completes the retained forwards – the popular Yorkshireman made 20 appearances in his first season.
In the backs division, charismatic fly half Josh Bragman returns for third season at Ampthill. Bragman is joined in the retained half-backs by the experienced scrum-half Pete White – himself a contender for Player of the Season last year, scrum-half Charlie Gowling and fly-half Gwyn Parks.
Ampthill Academy graduates Lui Natui and Young Player of the Year Finlay Parker both made their senior and Championship rugby debuts last season and are full members of the 1st XV squad this season. Both have a bright future in the game.
“Mr Mob” Josh Skelcey starts his third season at Ampthill after joining from Plymouth Albion in 2021 whilst Player of the Year Tomas Bacon was another who joined from Wasps during last season along with Wing Ollie Dawkins.
The club would like to thank all of the players who departed this summer for their contribution last season – Charlie Beckett, Fyn Brown, Ben Cambriani, Jake Ellwood, Lewis Finlay, Matt Gallagher, Sam Hanks, Tom Hardwick, Charlie Hudson, Tom Hudson, Griff Phillipson, Conor Rankin, Paddy Ryan, Joe Sproston, Harry Wilson and George Worth.
Paul Turner comments “All of the retained players made a big contribution to the club last season and give us a strong foundation to build this season’s squad around. I’m very pleased with our recruitment this summer and look forward to seeing what we can achieve as a group”
The preseason friendly against Nottingham Rugby kicks off at 2pm this Saturday. Match and Season Tickets are available at www.ampthillrufc.com/match-tickets/
Members who renew before 5pm on Friday 25th August will receive a FREE family ticket (two adults and two children) for the game.