WORTHING Raiders Rugby Club captain Matt Miles is looking forward to returning to action on Saturday and is hoping the new year will prove to be a successful one for the club.
Raiders sit second in National 2 South after 14 wins from their 17 league games and although Miles admits they were thankful for the two-week break over Christmas and new year, they are now raring to go again.
He said: “It was a really tough start to the season, with a game every week but the fixtures aren’t quite so congested in the second half of the season.
“We can’t wait to get back into action. After our last game, I was looking forward to a break but, after a couple of days, I couldn’t wait to play again and I’m really looking forward to getting back at it.
“Shelford away is a tough game to start with. They’re a very tough side, especially at home, but we’ve prepared hard and hope to hit the ground running.”
On the season so far, Miles said: “We’d have definitely taken this at the start of the season – second place at Christmas – although maybe would have liked a couple more losing bonus points and a couple more four-try bonus points.
“We knew that we were contenders this year but, maybe, we’re slightly ahead of where we thought we would be.”
Looking ahead to the rest of the campaign, Miles said: “As a team, we want to carry on and push for a play-off place or finish in first place. We’re definitely looking for promotion.
“The top five positions in this league are so hotly contested. Richmond are six points ahead of us but then second to fifth place is separated by just six points, so, if you lose one week, you could find yourselves dropping down a few places.
“It’s going to be hard but we’ve got the players to remain up there.
“The club has big plans for the future and, if we can keep our form up, we should enjoy a successful season.
“We’ve got quite a small, settled, squad and still have Charlie McGowan (knee), James Arthur (collar bone) and Ben Dudley (thumb) to come back from injury, which will mean more competition for places, and we’ll just to look to carry on our form from the first half of the season.”