WHITCHURCH coach Scott Sturdy is continuing his quest to bring in fresh blood ahead of the new season in rugby’s Midlands Two West (North).

Sturdy has identified a couple of key areas to strengthen – and is hoping to seal a second row/back row forward and a versatile centre.

On the plus side, winger Sam Kendall – who had looked set to move to Preston – is remaining with the club, while several players from the under-18s will be pushing into the squad this season.

“As far as new players, I’ve got nothing confirmed at the moment,” said Sturdy. “A couple of players I had been talking to now don’t look likely to be coming, but there are two others I’m hoping to bring in. We start training next week, and hopefully I can tie them down soon.

“Sam Kendall is staying with us now, which is great news –  so it means we have lost three players instead of four from last season.”

The Reds start pre-season training next Tuesday, and will learn the identity of their North Mids Shield opponents this week.

After being relegated from  Midlands One West last term, Whitchurch will be looking to make a swift return as they gear up for life in a tier below in Two West (North).

They start with an opening-day trip to Cleobury Mortimer on Saturday, September 9 before playing their first home league fixture two weeks later on September 23, when they welcome Old Saltleians to Edgeley Park.

The week after, they visit old rivals Crewe and Nantwich, who were relegated along with the Reds last term.

With only 12 teams in this division, Whitchurch’s season will get under way with a North Mids Shield fixture on Saturday September 2, while the Reds will also be involved in the Intermediate Cup on September 16.