High-calibre talent boosts Saracens’ hope of league success

An influx of National League power and experience can help Cheltenham Saracens turn the tide against Longlevens tomorrow, writes Nick Purewal.

Saracens lost out 22-18 to the Gloucester men in the County Cup last weekend. And now they host the very same side in tomorrow’s Gloucester One season opener (kick-off 3pm). The King George V men head into the new campaign buoyant after a host of new summer arrivals.

Head coach and Gloucester prop Rupert Harden takes the reins for his second term, with full-back Olly Morgan holding two sessions a month focusing on backs defence. And new captain Jimmy McMahon and openside flanker Leroy Hughes are ready to make their club debuts tomorrow.

Rugby director Mike Pitman said former Lydney number eight McMahon and ex-Moseley and Old Patesians flanker Hughes will bolster Saracens’ physicality and bite up front. He explained: “We were frustrated to concede a couple of sloppy tries last week, and now we are really hoping we can give a better account of ourselves in the second match of this double-header. “Jimmy has just started a new business, and with a young family, he couldn’t commit to all the travelling with Lydney. “So he’s a real coup of a signing for us. “And Leroy is another with a lot of quality who will do well – he’s already helping out with coaching where required, and that’s paying off extremely well.”

Saracens host their annual old boys’ day tomorrow, and any former players are invited to arrive for a buffet at 2pm.

With Saracens 2nds hosting Lydney 2nds at home too, Pitman expects a compelling afternoon on two fronts. He continued: “We are very pleased with progress at the club right now, we have good numbers to training and for matches. “And we’re able to put out three sides, with our third team travelling to take on Cirencester 3rds tomorrow as well.”

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