After burning through 6 hookers last season, two of whom were forced into retirement, we welcome back Ben Wright, last seen with a broken jaw before he went off to New Zealand to play. The hooker department will be further strengthened by the signing of Robbie Collinson from Kendal and Alfie Weston who joined the squad in the second half of last year. Robbie is looking forward to trying to play at a higher level and is committed to giving his all in getting a regular place in the 1st team.
Retired hooker Dan Stockdale will work with the Foresters forwards and as a specialist hooker coach across the Club. Dan came through the ranks of the Minis and Juniors before going to university in Ireland. On his return to the Dale he worked his way up through the teams to become an established 1st XV player and Club Vice-Captain. He was a player who always gave 100% on the pitch making tackle after tackle and doing more than his fair share of ball carrying.
The pack will be further strengthened with the addition of the athletic Bradford Salem second row player Finn Southcott and the return of Ben Markey and Jack Pinder in the back row. Ben returns after playing for Manley Marlins, just outside Sydney in Australia and Northumbria University. Ben is glad to be back and looking forward to the new season. Jack, who is also glad to be back, returns to the Avenue having completed his studies at Nottingham Trent University. Rob Baldwin plays again….and again and again, adding experience to the upcoming young guns.
In the backs, rejoining the already exciting young back line will be James Coulton after missing much of last season with a broken leg and work commitments.
Pre-season training, which started at the beginning of July, continues on Tuesdays and Thursdays as the team builds up to the 1st warm up match against Billingham, away, on 12th August.