The Kent senior side will take on Hertfordshire at Well Hall this Saturday in the first round of the 2017 County Championship. Kick-off is at 3.00 pm with gate entry £3 for adults and free for children and Kent members on presentation of handbook.
The oldest competition in domestic rugby has undergone a revamp for this season.
There are now 28 counties competing, split into three levels as before, but now with twelve teams in Tier One, and eight in Tiers Two and Three respectively.
Tier One, to which Kent were promoted last season, will be split North and South with each county playing three matches against other sides within their ‘Pool’. The winner of each Pool (under the standard points system) will contest the Bill Beaumont Cup at Twickenham on Sunday 28th May.
Kent’s other Pool matches are:
• Surrey v Kent at Dorking RFC – Saturday 13th May
• Devon v Kent at Barnstaple – Saturday 20th May
The other significant change to the competition is that promotion and relegation between Tiers will now take place every two years with points accumulated being carried forward to the following season.
The principal here is to allow counties to consolidate their position at a certain level and avoid the constant ‘yo-yoing’ between Tiers, something that has afflicted Kent in recent years.
Selection for Saturday’s match is restricted with Charlton Park contesting the Intermediate Cup Final at Twickenham against West Leeds, and Old Elthamian battling it out for promotion to National League One against Sale FC at Heywood Road.
However, Head Coach, and former All Black legend, John Gallagher is still able to pick from a range of clubs across the county with Canterbury providing the backbone with eight players, four from Westcombe Park, and Blackheath and Tunbridge Wells each providing three.
Blackheath’s Tom Stradwick is captain.
15. A Moss – Canterbury
14. K Asiedu – Hartpury College
13. J Murray – Canterbury
12. W Farries – Canterbury
11. D Hamilton – Blackheath
10. F Reynolds – Tunbridge Wells
9. C Edwards – unattached
1. J Green – Canterbury
2. C Hopkins – Sidcup
3. S Kenny – Canterbury
4. R Cadman – Canterbury
5. A Campbell – Westcombe Park
6. T Stradwick (Capt) – Blackheath
7. H McCormack – Canterbury
8. T Baldwin – Blackheath
16. J Bonner – Westcombe Park
17. A Cooper – Canterbury
18. S Carmen – Sidcup
19. L Bellinger – Westcombe Park
20. N Doherty – Tunbridge Wells
21. C Spence – Tunbridge Wells
22. B Bateup – Westcombe Park