Journey into the unknown for Peterborough RUFC and Peterborough Lions

Dean Elmore on his way to score a try for the Peterborough Lions against Bury St Edmunds. Photo: Mick Sutterby.

They will still face off in a revamped East Midlands Regional Division 2, but there will also be a handful of new opponents. The reorganization of regional rugby has been carried out to reduce travel costs.

The Borough begins its home season against Lutterworth at Fengate on Saturday (3:00 p.m.) when the Lions are also at home against Leighton Buzzard (Bretton Park, 2:00 p.m.).

Borough head coach Shane Manning said, “We’ve had a great pre-season and can’t wait to get started.

“The RFU has restructured the leagues to make travel distances easier and also to reduce the number of games played by players each season.

“Our league has 12 teams and we have new teams playing in the Old Laurentians, Northampton Old Scouts, Newbold-On-Avon, Olney and Leighton Buzzard as well as existing teams from last season’s division Lutterworth, Market Harborough, Kettering, Old Northamptonians and Towcestrians and of course our old friends the Lions.

“It’s hard to say who will be the favorites to win the league because not much is known about the new teams.

“The usual strong sides like Kettering, Old Northamptonians will be tough and I have no doubt the Lions will have gone from strength to strength after finishing in last place last season.

“I hope we get going. Our goal for this season is to become more consistent and if we achieve that our place in the league will take care of itself.”

Borough lost star winger Rob Jacobs who moved to work in London but brought in scrum-half James Fear and loose forward Gareth Ramsden.

“It’s a shame to lose Rob,” Manning added. “But the new boys give us depth in the squad.”

The Lions have several new faces in their squad, including a handful who have joined the club after some time away. They are Alan Carr (winger), Dean Elmore (hooker), Oakeley Mellish (full back), Roko Davui (winger), Callum Jones (centre), Shay Howes (centre), Hulisani Masindi (second row), Leshley October (half of the sacrum) and Zuko Delubom (center).

Charles Pendlebury and Elmore scored tries for a mixed Lions side at National League Bury St Edmunds in a friendly last weekend. The home team ran in eight tries.

Oundle are still the top-ranked home side and they open their Regional Midlands One season against Bromsgrove at Occupation Road on Saturday (2pm).

Stamford and Bourne will play in 1 Midlands East counties this season. They will depart for Long Buckby and Wellingborough respectively on Saturday.

Spalding is in 2 Midlands East counties and is opening its home program in Huntingdon & District, while Deepings, Stamford College Old Boys and Thorney will take part in 3 Midlands East counties.

The Elders and Deepings start the season with a derby at Stamford. Thorney is at Brackley’s house.

Charles P. Patton