To first continue with the news of players departing, we are sad to say that Spencer Sutherland has been added to the list of goodbyes. Spencer has been a loyal servant to the Club for over 6 years. He has achieved well over 100 first team caps, and is a supporter favourite. We wish him all the best and hope to see his popular smiling face down at Esher soon.
Before we break the news of the new signings over the next couple of weeks, Esher are pleased to announce the 22 players from last season's squad who are retained for the 2018-19 season.
The list is led by two of our centurions, Cameron Zeiss and Cameron Gentles, both of whom have become fixtures in the 1stXV and between them have played 270 times for Esher. Cam Zeiss is joined in the front row by fellow props Oli Mines, Matt Lowes and Cameron Leigh, the latter having returned from his first England Counties tour. Devlin Hope also returns to challenge for the hooker berth after a season of understudying Billy Harding.
In the second and back rows we are delighted to retain Charlie Gossington, a regular man-of-the-match, along with Harrison Collins who recovered well from injury to lead the team on several occasions last season. They will be joined by Ali Bone, who had a big impact last season.
Club Captain Paul Roberts returns at fly-half, together with last season's understudy Stephen Boatman who will be looking to step up his challenge for the starting berth. At scrum-half James Brooks also returns, having shown considerable promise in his opportunities last season. Sam Bullock also steps up from the Cardinals to the 1stXV at scrum-half, having impressed last season after moving across from Blackheath.
In the centres Chris Arnold and Dan Rowland will be back again this season. Outside them experienced wingers Tom James and Joe Beckett return along with the exciting Kariym Irving, of whom we hope to see more. Behind them Lloyd Davies and Callum Monks will compete for the full-back slot.
The full list (with the number of appearances for Esher) is as follows:
Prop – Cameron Zeiss (135), Oli Mines (88), Cameron Leigh (61), Matt Lowes (15)
Hooker– Devlin Hope (25)
Lock/Back Row – Cameron Gentles (134)
Back Row – Charlie Gossington (80), Harrison Collins (74), Ali Bone (12)
Scrum Half – James Brooks (7), Sam Bullock (0)
Fly Half – Paul Roberts (60), Stephen Boatman (42)
Centre – Chris Arnold (17), Dan Rowland (17)
Wing – Tom James (57), Joe Beckett (32), Kariym Irving (13)
Full-back – Lloyd Davies (35), Callum Monks