Opening six matches will be so important for us – Wood
FIRWOOD WATERLOO open their account in North One West this Saturday at home to Altrincham Kersal.
“We have had a good pre-season and although we have brought in a large number of new players we have looked at some combinations over our two warm-up games, at home to Wirral and away at Preston Grasshoppers last Thursday,” explained director of rugby Steve Wood.
“Following three 30-minute sessions against a very good Wirral outfit which gave us a good indication of what we needed to work on, we had two training seasons before moving on to Preston,” Wood continued.
“Here we were far more aware of what we are looking for in our start combinations and I also thought our defence was solid against a useful side who were eager to impress their new coach following relegation at the end of last season.”
Since announcing some signings earlier in the close season, Waterloo have now added three former rugby league players to their ranks – Josh Swift a back-row or centre and Adam Wilks also a back-rower, both from amateur club Leigh East, plus Scott Davidson, a lock-forward from St Helens club Blackbrook.
They have also signed Alex Vowles-Bradley, an outside half from Fylde.
Continued Wood: “These are top signings for us and will add to the overall strength of our squad. We have others in the pipeline and they will be announced in due course.”
Looking at the season ahead Wood was keen to emphasise the importance of the opening two months.
“We kick off on Saturday at home to Altrincham Kersal.
“This is going to be a tough fixture but we know that our opening six games are going to be crucial if we are to make a fair fist of this campaign, particularly as we want to play good open rugby.
“We are positive that we can do well and if we can get some early wins we will grow in confidence.
Assessing the ‘Blundellsands effect’, Wood added: “We know that clubs coming here will see Waterloo as an important scalp so it is critical that we get down to business straight from the kick-off and let sides know what we are about.”