Coach Scott Sturdy is confident Whitchurch will be in good shape for the start of the Midlands One West season despite a lack of pre-season action.

The Reds had planned three friendlies, hammering Telford 98-7 in their first warm-up game, before their scheduled outings against Congleton and Veseyans were both called off.

It means they will go into their league opener at home to Droitwich at the beginning of September having played just once, but Sturdy has no qualms.

"To be honest, there seem to be less pre-season games this year than ever, and it's the way it's going for a lot of clubs," he said. "Ideally we would have liked two friendlies against the right opposition. It was not to be, but we will prepare as well as we can.

"The players are physically in good shape, and I am confident we won't be undercooked. We will have four good training sessions before the Droitwich game, and I expect the lads to start with all guns blazing.

"They were the one side to defeat us last season, so if you can't get yourself motivated for that one, then you are in the wrong sport."

After Congleton pulled out of the friendly with Whitchurch the week before, it was Reds who were forced to call off their trip to Walsall club Veseyans due to an unavailability of players.

They were missing eight of their backline, and four front row forwards, and Sturdy took the decision to inform the West Midlands club they could not fulfil the fixture on Wednesday.

"We could have taken some sort of team there, but we would not have learned a lot from the experience," he said. "Veseyans were also struggling for players, so they did not not seem that bothered not to play."

The Reds' focus will be on their first league outing with Droitwich at Edgeley Park on Saturday, September 1, the start of a busy month of five matches.

Sturdy is happy with his squad, but could have a couple of new additions.

Although they won all 22 games in storming to the Midlands Two West (North) title last season, Whitchurch will have a score to settle against Droitwich who inflicted their only defeat when prevailing 19-7 in the Midlands final of the RFU Intermediate Cup.