Following an eventful close-season, Leicester Storm Rugby League Club get their season underway this weekend, as Dean Thomas’ side welcome Conference League South newcomers Torfaen Tigers to the East Midlands on Saturday (21st March, 2:00pm) afternoon.
The opening league fixture of the season is the one and only home match that Leicester Storm will be playing at Victoria Park, prior to the club’s move to their new Brooksby Melton College home. Off the back of a strong pre-season, which has seen a number of players move up the ranks at the Storm, hopes are high for the city’s rugby league side, who were defeated in the Conference League South play-off semi-finals last term.
A powerful performance against last year’s play-off winners Valley Cougars in the first round of the Challenge Cup was followed by a promising display against the Royal Artillery in the build-up to Saturday’s opener. Meanwhile, Saturday’s visitors from South Wales will have been buoyed by a dominant win over Cardiff City RL in the build-up to their first-ever Conference League South fixture.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s match-up with Torfaen Tigers, Storm prop Ty Watson said:
“We’re expecting a tough game. The Tigers have signed some Welsh under-21 and under-19 international players already, and looked to have had a very successful season last year. As for their strength, it’s difficult to say, as we’ve not played against their opponents before; but looking at their results they were strong last year and they won their league quite easily.
“I’m sure it will be a tough transition for their players and I’m sure that the amount of travel they will have to endure will have an effect. We feel that if we can put out a performance similar to the one shown against the Artillery in parts – and certainly against Valley Cougars – we can come out on top.
“Overall, we’ve had a good pre-season. We’ve had some new players come in and we’re strong in numbers. What has been really pleasing to see is the amount of juniors that have now come through the set-up and into the first team. It proves that rugby league works in this city and it’s exciting to be able to develop our own rugby league talent.”
Admission for Saturday’s Conference League South fixture is free of charge; however the club will be asking for a donation of £2 to assist with the game’s running costs.
Leicester Storm team from: Simon Anniss, Dan Baillie, Frank Barlow, Tom Bulmer, Lewis Chapman, Liam Crocker, Mark Etherington, Lewis Flack, Jacob Hudson, Greg Hurst (c) Roddy Jonas, Reece Rance, Oli Saville,Ty Watson, Jack Williams, Reece Williams, Josh West, Mark White, Kevin Wroe