Hackney captain is aiming for second successive promotion
- Credit: Archant
Following last season’s promotion, Hackney RFC’s new captain Will Bowers might be forgiven for a cautious approach to life in the eighth tier of English rugby – but instead he’s aiming to go up again.
Hackney begin their first season in London North West Division Three against Stevenage on Saturday at Spring Hill, and Bowers believes promotion has been the result of years of hard work.
“It’s been a three, maybe four-year project for a lot of guys that have been at the club and maybe a core of half a dozen who have really pushed towards this, so we’ve all been kind of biting to get to it really,” said Bowers.
“There’s trepidation because if you’ve looked forward to something for all this time and you finally get it, can you ever live up to what’s going to happen?”
Hackney powered their way to promotion from Herts/Middlesex Division One last season thanks to an 18-match winning streak and the confidence from that monumental run of form has seemingly carried over.
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“I’m looking to start with a win because we’ve had a very good pre-season, we’ve got some good new players in,” said Bowers.
“We’ve got some good players who played last year in their first season and what we often find at our level of rugby is that the first season you really get to know what’s going on with your new club, then in your second season you push on and show your best game.
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“For the season in general I think we should be challenging,” Bowers added. “If you look at teams that have come up from the division we just came up from – Old Merchant Taylors, Harrow – they’ve pushed on again and I think we should look, if not to get to London Two, to finish in the top three or four.”
Outside-centre Will Burrows has joined the Hackney ranks and that’s not the only change, as Bowers has taken over the captaincy from Alex O’Hara, who is travelling for a year.
The skipper is relishing the challenge of leading the club on the pitch, adding: “I’ve been at the club for three and half years now and I’ve been always been someone that’s prepared to talk and prepared to lead.
“It’s nice to get that official recognition that I’m the leader on the pitch and I can be trusted to do that.”
Hackney’s second XV will also be in action on Saturday as they host Finchley, while the third XV travel to Bishop’s Stortford to play their fourth team and Hackney Ladies play East London Ladies on Sunday.