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Mitch eager to play down expectations
12:00pm Thursday 30th August 2012 in Stourbridge RFC
NEIL Mitchell has warned not too expect too much, too soon from his new-look Stourbridge RFC side.
The Saxons director of rugby has spent the summer rebuilding after the club’s relegation from National One.
Just seven players remain from last season’s disappointing campaign and Stour enter the new term as many people’s tip for the National Two North crown.
Mitchell is happy with the signings he has made but says it will take the new players time to gel.
He said: “I think the expectation is we are going to turn up and just bulldoze teams out of the way.
“I think as games go by and the team plays together more, we will go from strength-to-strength.
“But I think to expect big things straight away might be jumping the gun a bit.
“It’s going to take time for us to settle and really hit our stride.”
Chief among the new additions is tight-head prop Mark George from Premiership side London Irish, while Moseley veteran Richard Stott will be another fresh face in the second row.
Prop Kevin Birt has joined from Burton, with another tight-head prop arriving in the shape of Nick Adams, who will also take up the role of player-coach. Mitchell has plundered the now defunct Rugby Lions for number eight Nigel Mukarati and hooker Stuart Pearl with Ed Garbett and Chris Depper joining from Old Swinford Hospital School.
The only setback has seen fly-half Sam Robinson sidelined for several months with a recurring shoulder problem, while James Hill broke his leg during last Saturday’s 33-5 friendly defeat at Wharfedale.
Stour head to Birmingham and Solihull on Saturday for a meeting between two relegated clubs and Mitchell is expecting a close encounter.
He said: “Bees are in a very similar position to us, they have had to make a lot of changes as well.
“I’m expecting a good contest between two relatively new squads.
“They are going to really come at us but we will be looking to pick up our first win.”