Director of Rugby Hornets Richardson Leicester Lions preview

11:00 a.m. September 2, 2022

Hornets director of rugby Jon Richardson said there was “a lot of excitement” ahead of their first ever National Two West game with the Leicester Lions at Westleigh Park on Saturday.

The Hornets finished third in the South West Premier last season to record successive promotions.

The meeting with the Lions will be their first ever tier four game and Richardson says everyone can’t wait for the new campaign to begin.

“There is a lot of excitement around the club’s first foray into National League rugby,” he said.

“Leicester are one of the best teams in the league so it will be a huge test for our boys, but I’m sure they will be looking forward to it.

“Like last year, almost all the teams will be our first encounter, so we don’t know much about them.

“We’re going to focus on what we’re doing and see where it takes us. It’s a long journey but it comes with the territory. We know there are a few long rides, so we’ll make sure we have some great quizzes ready for the bus.

“It’s a wonderful achievement from our players, but I don’t think our supporters really care what level we play at, they would support the guys no matter what and that’s the beauty of a community club, that stick together no matter what because it’s the club and the people that matter.

The Hornets come into the game after a strong pre-season as, following a 36-12 loss to Weston RFC, they beat Abertillery Blaenau Gwent 34-19 before a ‘very successful’ trip to Bournemouth saw them win 19 -14 in Dorset.

A “ferociously contested encounter” with the Old Reds saw the visitors prevail at the Nest, 19-12 in the opener.

In a second match, the second XV of the Hornets won 36-21.

Hornets director of rugby Jon Richardson (left) with head coach Jack Gadd (right).
– Credit: Archant

Richardson also hailed Jack Gadd’s impact as head coach following his May return from the Old Reds, backed by forwards coach Jake Caulfield, assisted by Mark Millman, and full-backs coaches Rob Dempsey and Paul Shepard.

“I think Jack and the coaching staff are doing very well,” Richardson said.

“It’s a huge task to prepare the team for National Two, especially with newcomers and departures.

“We weren’t informed of our promotion until very late, which put us far behind other clubs in terms of recruitment and preparation, but that’s the card we were given.

“I was impressed with how everyone got down on their knees and worked hard to try and get to where we need to be.”

Charles P. Patton