WORTHING Raiders Rugby Club have made a number of new additions to their squad ahead of the new National 2 South campaign – two of which have come as a results of their link with Premiership side Harlequins.
Since starting training back in the first week of July, Raiders have had a large number of triallists and new additions through the doors at Roundstone Lane.
Raiders have signed two young Harlequins academy players, a centre and scrum-half, which have come about as a result of Worthing head coach Kieron Dawson’s international past.
The ex-Ireland international has a good relationship with fellow former Ireland player, Conor O’Shea, who is the director of rugby at Quins.
Raiders have also welcomed back Greg Sullivan after he left the club to try his hand at Esher, before spending last season at Richmond.
He joins fellow new recruit Jordan McIntyre, a front row who played last season in National 1 at Barking, and second row Scott Varlow and Billy Toone, who have both joined from local side Chichester.
Raiders chairman David Hinchliffe said: “We’re pleased to see Greg back, he was always a really good player and fits into the way we play with fast running rugby.
“The couple from Harlequins are dual registered and live in a house put up by their club in Guildford. They train with them during the week, with us on Tuesday and Thursdays and then play for us as well.
“It’s a way of getting them more rugby as there is not enough around for them and they send them to clubs they think will benefit them. Of course, the Harlequins director of rugby, Conor O’Shea being a former Ireland international with one Kieron Dawson helps.”
With any season there has also been departures and Raiders have lost, in different capacities, Richard Briggs, Finlay Coxon-Smith, Michael Stubbs and Shane Costigan.
All played a big part in last year’s highest-ever National League finish, but have all had to move away through work commitments.
Worthing’s league season is due to start on September 1, when they are scheduled to travel to Rugby Lions. But, with the company that own Lions recently going bust, a large cloud is currently hanging over their future.
Lions have reportedly not even started pre-season training yet.
For more on Raiders pick up this week’s Worthing Herald.