AN upbeat Russell Earnshaw believes his new-look Bees squad is close to the strength of the team that took to the field in the Championship last year.
The Damson Park outfit, once again coming to terms with life in National League One, had been predicted to struggle following the loss of RFU cash after relegation last season.
But with the finances in place for the new season and England Sevens coach Earnshaw’s renowned powers of persuasion, he feels the squad is coming together nicely.
“It’s been quite tricky to manage as we have a number of loan players but once we got everyone in position the guys have been really excellent and we are not a million miles away from the strength we had last year,” he said.
Indeed, following the recruitment of locks Tom Quarrie from Auckland and Mitch Todd from Nottingham, Bees could be said to be at last filling the gaping hole left by second row Alex Davidson who departed two seasons ago to become director of rugby at Old Luctonians.
“Both Tom and Mitch have added a fair bit to the pack and brought a much greater degree of physicality to our game,” said Earnshaw.
And with more new signings hinted, Bees look fair for the start of the season.`
Bees have a friendly against Carmarthen Quins next Saturday, August 13 at Damson Park, kick off 3pm before the season proper starts a fortnight later at home to Ealing Trailfinders again at home.