All the pieces of the jigsaw are coming together at Stamford RFC as the new season approaches with a new captain, new signings and extra emphasis on attractions off the field.
Centre Austin Schwarz has been named skipper by new head coach Stef Arlow. Flanker Oli Story will be vice-captain.
Arlow said: “Austin Schwarz is the man I have chosen to lead the team on the field, my reasons are because of his levels of commitment to the team and the club, his ability as a player and the respect that he is shown from players around him in and out of rugby.
“I know he can deliver on the pitch as being a voice at training and in the changing rooms, I’ve spoken to him about taking each game as it comes, adapting to a suitable game plan and building and maintaining a squad of players to hopefully take Stamford forward and he’s fully on board.”
“The vice captaincy has gone to Oli Story for the simple reason if his style of playing, his attacking game is outstanding, his work in defence is faultless and to be honest tackling is his bread and butter and as an openside flanker he can lead and control the forwards, I believe they will work well together and complement each other in the coming season.”
Schwarz said: “I am proud and honoured having been asked to be Stamford’s 1st XV captain this year, I means a lot to captain the club that I started my playing career at aged 7.
“With a great preseason behind us, I am excited to see what the next 10 months has to offer and make sure we continue enjoying what we do best on and off the pitch every week”
Stamford have added some muscle to their backline in the off-season in the form of 6”1” 17 stone Gareth Ramsden.
Ramsden, 27, has a playing history with St. Helens rugby league, Lincoln and Spalding rugby union.
Arlow said: “I’m ecstatic that Gareth has chosen to join us, he is a strong ball carrier and has a good kicking game, he’s keen to get playing and he’s got a great attitude, with the back line I have at my disposal he’s a fantastic addition to Stamford Rugby Club.”
Stamford’s first league game of the season is at home against Ashby on September 13. The club intends to start as them mean to go on and plan to make the first game about more than just rugby.
There will be a barbecue, bouncy castle and as ever the bar will be open in a bid to attract more rugby fans and their families from Stamford.
The first game will kick off at 3pm.