Whilst the past three months hasn’t seen any rugby being played, and we’re still not sure when the first match of the 2020/21 season will be, the hard work behind the scenes to renew contracts and fill voids left by those players who have moved or retired has continued, and we’re delighted to give you news of next season’s squad.
As you will have read over the recent weeks, we are saying goodbye to some players who are retiring (Burcham, Liebenberg) or moving (Herriott, Poole, Peters, Lamb, Rawstron-Rudd, Hamilton, Ireland, Scott, Seward) and we wish them all well. The great news is that we’re going to be welcoming back the majority of our 2019/20 squad:
- Tom Baldwin, Tom Burns, James Catt, Mark Cooke, Jack Daly, Craig Dowsett, Leo Fielding, Nick Foster, Harry Fry, Freddie Gabbitass, Kariym Irving, Jake Lloyd, Nathan Morris, Freddie Owen, Neale Patrick, Mike Perks, Alex Pickersgill, Ben Ransom, Elliot Simmons, Henry Staff, Tom Stradwick, Jamie Ure, Tom Williams
We are also welcoming some new faces to the Blackheath Squad this season, strengthening the 1st XV – all are outstanding signings, who bring considerable rugby experience and playing quality, as well as a genuine desire to see Club improving on last season’s final league position.
With such key retirements at Centre (Markus Burcham) and scrum half (Stef Liebenberg), and the departure of Danny Herriot and josh Peters at key positions, we felt these were crucial areas to focus on, and to bring in players with proven track records.
Stefan North: Tight Head Prop
- Arrives back at Club from a spell at OEs. ‘Stef’ is well known at Blackheath, having previously played over 30 games in the red and black. It’s fair to say that he relishes the dark arts at scrum time, and will be a great addition to the squad
Dom McGeekie: 2nd Row/Back Row
- Again, arrives from OEs. Dom is a graduate of Cardiff Met University and previously played for Championship side London Scottish. An extremely versatile back five player, who is adept at playing in the ‘row’ or out in the wide channels as an attacking back rower
Ollie Claxton: Scrum Half
- Another to join Club from OEs, Ollie arrives off the back of a great season and has been a stand out player for OEs during his 100 plus games. Whilst studying at Exeter University he also represented England Student. He’s known as a player with a great turn of pace, and one that can make something out of nothing
Alex Brown: Back Three
- The fourth player to come to us from OEs, Alex is a former Exeter University student where he gained England Students honours. Alex will give us a great number of options as he can cover all positions in the back line (he may argue) apart from 9 and 10
Matt Meeks: Loose Head Prop
- Matt has played over 100 National League games for Cambridge. A former back-rower who made the switch to the front row, he remains a mobile, aggressive player
Chris Bell: Scrum Half
- Chris joins us from Cambridge University, where he won three Blues and picked up two ‘man of the (Varsity) match’ performances. ‘Belly’ can also play at fly-half and knows Shanners very well
Lewis Robling: Centre
- Lewis comes to Blackheath from Bedford Blues via Jersey Reds and Ealing, having made over 100 Championship appearances. Another signing that gives us more flexibility, as he can also play 10 and hence gives us another option as a recognised goal kicker
Luke Peters: Centre
- Luke arrives from Nottingham, Ealing and Rotherham, having played a number of seasons in the Championship. A physical, hard running centre, who will add depth to an area of great strength at Club, recently vacated by last season’s Captain
Of course, all of the squad (and their kit) will be available for sponsorship – details are yet to be finalised, but if you’d like to be contacted when the sponsorship window opens, please send an email to email@example.com, and we’ll be in touch. If you would like to continue with the player you sponsored in the 2019/20 season, just let us know.
We are excited to welcome all the guys joining us for what promises to be an incredible season, and we’re looking forward to seeing our new 2020/21 squad in action on the pitch (at some point).