As Esher look ahead to the new season and pre-season gets well under way, the Club is delighted to announce the signing of four new players.
Ian Cross arrives at Molesey Road to take the reins at fly half, whilst outside him Tom Bedford joins the centres. Adding some weight to the pack are Peter Daly and Joe Garner. Daly has played rugby in Surrey for several years and hopes to break into the 1st XV this season, whilst Cinderford back-row Joe Garner has already helped the Golden Lions with great success.
With the departure of several Esher playmakers, Cross comes in to challenge for the No.10 shirt having moved from London Irish. The 24 year old will bring a much different style of play to the Club, as he not only towers over most half backs at an impressive 6ft 3, but is a cross code player, capped six times for Ireland playing rugby league.
Cross signed for Irish in 2012 from league giants St. Helens, but missed the season with a bad foot injury. Having recovered and gotten some game time for the Exiles the man from Munster is looking for game time at Esher:
"Last year was great and I loved my time at London Irish. It was good to get my first season back under my belt playing rugby union again after my stint in rugby league and the injury but I felt I wasn't getting enough game time to try and I want to progress even more."
"I'm delighted to have signed with Esher, a great club with an excellent history and tradition. There is a very experienced coaching staff and a quality group of players and I'm hoping to help push the Club towards promotion this season."
"Pre-season has been of high quality so far and I'm really looking forward to pulling on the jersey and playing with this group."
Outside of Cross will be centre Tom Bedford who has a wealth of experience in the Premiership, Championship and National One. Having played for Exeter Chiefs, Newcastle Falcons, Bedford Blues, Cornish Pirates and Ealing Trailfinders.
The 25 year old has been playing professional rugby since he left college and is looking to push this team back up into the second tier of English Rugby:
"The upcoming season with Esher will be great. After training with the squad for the last few weeks we seem to have a team ready to challenge for promotion to the championship. The club set up and the coaching staff are very knowledgeable and will get us in good sites for the season."
Bolstering the pack at Molesey Road this year are two very different forwards, both capable of pulling on the No.8 Shirt.
Joe Garner moves to Esher from Gloucestershire rivals, Cinderford, having spent half a season playing for Benevento in Southern Italy. A mobile back row by trade, Garner has already impressed coaches at the club with his fitness and awareness for the game by helping the Golden Lions win the Surrey Sevens and reaching the Elite Final of the 7s and the City tournament at Allianz Park.
Garner will line up against his former club in this season's opener, at home against Cinderford which has proved to be an extra incentive for the young No. 8, who's running lines and impressive speed Esher will hope to use to their effect.
"Having played the last 2 seasons in National 1 at Cinderford I have come across Esher a few times and they have always been hard to beat, playing a tight game up front that also has the pace outside to play some attractive rugby which has really impressed me."
"I am eager to help the first team reach their goals and push for a spot at the top of the table this year and really get stuck into some of the exciting games we have coming up."
Last, but by no means least, is Peter Daly.
The 26 year old Lock has enjoyed a recent spate of success in Surrey, not only representing the County but helping former club Farnham gain promotion for the past three years running.
Daly is just as comfortable at No.8 having played there for the last three seasons and is an intimidating presence in the pack at 6'7''. He'll be competing alongside Garner for the position but with the departure of Kris Chesney competition in the second row will be just as tough.
"I am really enjoying pre season and stepping up a gear. I am excited about the start of the season and can't wait to get a couple of games under my belt and contribute towards what's going to be a great season in the fight for promotion. "
Follow the guys on Twitter as part of the Esher Family:
Ian Cross - @iancross5
Joe Garner - @JoeGarner2
Tom Bedford - @tombedford1
Peter Daly - @peterdigbydaly
Gallery below (L - R): Joe Garner, Peter Daly, Ian Cross & Tom Bedford