After a relatively successful first season in Nat 1 the challenge now is to go one better and work hard to try and finish higher again in the coming season. We’ve learnt so many lessons from last season regarding our strengths and our work on’s and it’s safe to say, that teams this season will know a lot more about what to expect when they play us, so we’re going to have to work unbelievably hard over the off season to keep improving
During the off season we lost a few players, Noticeable players to leave.
Lewis Webb - being a head teacher with a young family means he struggles for time regarding training and felt he couldn’t commit the way he needed to. Will Norton will also be leaving for the same reasons.
Harry Tarling, after a great first season for the Titans has got the opportunity to trial up at Hartpury, we wish him well, but if it doesn’t work out, he’s already said he’ll be straight back.
Hallam Chapman - like Harry has got a 3-month trial with London Irish which again is a great and shows what a great shop window Taunton is for the you young ambitious players.
Dan Swain and James Keay have both moved to London due to work, we may bump into Dan at Rams and James possibly at Rosslyn Park, again both players were disappointed to leave, having really enjoyed last season.
Jack Walsh - As we all know Jack was never going to stay around long, he was such a good player and we were lucky to have him for the season, we wish him all the very best at Ospreys and we expect to hear great things about Jack in the future.
Aron Struminski has retired and is expecting his first child in January.
All the players above leave with our best wishes, and we can’t thank them enough for what they have done for TRFC during their time with our club.
This may seem like a lot of players out, but we have been working hard regarding recruitment and things are looking very good for the season ahead.
We will have further details to follow about each of these players in the near future but so far I can confirm we have the commitment of the following players,
Jay Toogood (Scrumhalf) - Navy
Jordan Gott (Flyhalf) - Navy
Will Vaughn (Prop) - Bath
Micheal Owen (Hooker) - Chinnor
Sam Knott (Second Row) - Dorset
Iwan Jenkins (Flyhalf) - Chiefs Loan
Ollie Rice (Second Row) - Bristol Loan
Charlie Walker-Blair (Backrow)
Have all agreed to be around for the coming season. We are also still talking to a small number of players who will add real value if they agree to get on board.
We also welcome back Connor Baker and Freddie Fraser after their season long injuries.
Pre-season is well underway, the dreaded fitness testing is done, and the boys are settling in and getting stuck into what we have planned to be the best preseason we’ve ever put together. In preparation for the season, we have a number of games through August:
- Two midweek training games v Exeter Uni
- 13th Titans / Warriors away to Clifton
- 20th Titans at home to Cornish Pirates, Warriors at home as a curtain raiser to one of our new sponsors British Gas.
- 27th Titans / Warriors both away to Cardiff Met
All this before we get into the league season, and it’s clear to see we’ve got a very tough first month
(A) Leeds - who are recruiting heavily in the off season
(H) Plymouth - local derby
(A) Cambridge - 3rd last season
(A) Sale - second last season
Off the field and behind the scenes everyone is working unbelievably hard, we have several new sponsors to compliment the great sponsors we already have. I’m looking forward to catching up with them all in the new season. We are fortunate to now gain the support of national companies however it’s great that we have kept so many of our local businesses that support our community club.
As I’ve mentioned Taunton RFC are so lucky to have such great support, and without the generous support of our sponsors and those that come along on match days what we do on the field just wouldn’t be possible. We can’t thank you all enough.
I’m going to be cheeky now though and ask for your help with a couple of things once again. I have a player who plays scrum half, an area I’m keen to recruit, who comes very highly recommended and is currently in the USA trialling for the National team and he is keen to join Taunton. He works in sales but is happy to explore other opportunities, and I need to help find him a job and in a perfect world accommodation or a room. If you think you can help in any way, please contact Nick Mason for more details and a copy of his CV.
The second thing is equipment, I have put together a wish list regarding equipment to help with areas of training, if anyone would be interesting in helping cover the cost of some of the equipment it would be hugely appreciated. Again, to find out more please contact Nick.
All that is left to say, is this journey we are on at Taunton is so exciting and it’s not just the players and coaches on the journey it’s all of us together, we can’t do anything without each other. Make the most of your time off from rugby, as the season will soon be here and we can’t wait to see you all down at Veritas Park making some noise and cheering on the boys.
Thank you all,
Tony Yapp (Taunton Titans Head Coach)