Turner hoping for exciting times at Hackney

Hackney's women face the camera

Hackney's women face the camera - Credit: Archant

Former England international Amy Turner is the new men’s first XV coach at Hackney and looking forward to an exciting season.

Hackney members face the camera at a pre-season training session

Hackney members face the camera at a pre-season training session - Credit: Archant

Turner, who won 59 caps and played at the 2010 World Cup, is starting her second season with the club and believes their Spring Hill Recreation Ground home has a lot going for it.

"It's location in an area not traditionally associated with rugby means it can ignore a lot of the stereotypes associated with the sport," said Turner.

"And purely focus on enjoying playing the game and the friendships formed when you join a new club. That makes it a good environment to coach in."

Hackney finished just off the bottom of a very competitive London Two North West last season, with only five wins from 20 matches, but Turner is hoping they can improve on that mark this term.

"London Two is a very competitive level, as shown by how few points separated the bottom half of the table last season and how many games were decided by a single score," she added.

"Our aspiration is to improve on last term and progress as a team, with a bit of luck in those close games that will hopefully result in a top-half finish in the league."

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They start on September 14 with a trip to Chiswick, who finished third last season, then host Hammersmith & Fulham in their first home fixture of the campaign.

North London rivals Hampstead visit in the final game before Christmas, with the return derby taking place on April 4.

And Turner is clear in her mind about how she wants Hackney to perform, adding: "We want to stretch defences a bit more and try and find space, weather that's with a kicking game into open spaces or moving the point of attack wider.

"Obviously defence is very important at this level and we're working on everyone being on the same page. Mainly we want everyone to enjoy their rugby and be proud of their performances."

The club will continue to field four men's teams, as well as two women's teams this season.

After runners-up spots for both sides last season, the women are hoping to enjoy their 10th aninversary campaign, with Steve Wagstaff, one of London's most experienced and qualified coaches, returning for his third season in charge.

Training for the senior men and women is every Wednesday at Mabley Green 3G pitch (E9 5HW) from 7.30-9pm, with new players very welcome.

The club also run junior rugby sessions for ages 6-15 (boys and girls) every Sunday 10am-12pm.

Any youngsters looking to take up the sport are welcome to try it out. Visit hackneyrfc.co.uk.