The new season is just around the corner and the fixtures have just been released. Casting an eye over the fixtures there is a 4 new teams that Billingham will face in the upcoming season. Billingham are accustomed to Morpeth having been one of teams that Billingham faced on their journey to Northern Premier. Always known as a physical side they will present another physical task similar to that of Alnwick. The other teams Macclesfield, Blackburn and Carlisle are more unfamiliar.
So to help us all I have put together a little summary about each team:
Macclesfield RUFC is a Cheshire based club. The first XV are known as the Blues and currently play in the fifth tie of the English rugby union system, North Premier, following their relegation from National League 2 North at the end of the 2018-19 season. Macclesfield will be looking to bounce back at the first opportunity and seeing their recent signings they will be a tough team to beat.
Morpeth Rugby Football Club The first XV team have reached the national levels of the sport for the first time in 2019 a similar feat to that of Billingham a few seasons back. At the end of the 2018-19 season Morpeth finished as champions of North 1 East, reaching North Premier, which at level 5, is the highest level the club have reached since the leagues began back in 1987.
Blackburn Rugby Club is based in the English County of Lancashire., obtained promotion after winning the 2018-19 North 1 East/North 1 West promotion play-off. Again like Morpeth they have reached the national levels of the sport for the first time in 2019
Carlisle Rugby Club finished as North West 1 champions: 2018-19. They are the third team out of 4 who have reached the Nationals for the first time this season.
There is a few longer journeys but also nice to see another North East club make the transition into the Nationals.
The pre-season fixtures that have been arranged against, GHA Glasgow, Tynedale and DMP will ensure that we will be game ready for what will be another tough season.
I have caught up with head coach Peter Evans ‘ It is great to see Morpeth in league. Another local ‘ish’ team and hopefully a double header with the 2s. They will be big and physical as always. Blackburn will be an unknown really, they have done well and look like they have a proud home record. Carlisle have several players who have played high level rugby and a strong coaching set up, its been a long time since we have played with probably only me and Joe remaining. Macclesfield will be eager to bounce back. They have made some impressive re- signings, new coaches and new players.
That’s said we are in our 3rd week of preseason. Our numbers are strong. We have some new boys in the mix who will be keen to impress. Along with the same squad as last year. Our focus is on getting stronger, building our already fantastic team ethos, the first game against Wirral and when the fixtures come out for the other senior teams.
Welcome to all the teams and we look forward to our upcoming fixtures.