Written by Nigel Scott
Esher Rugby is building towards its return to National 1 by strengthening its squad in all areas
Esher's open, running rugby style of play is attractive to wingers and we are delighted to welcome Ben Robbins and Will Foster to the squad. Ben joins from Richmond and has played previously for Rotherham in National 1 as well as having won 14 caps for Scotland Under 20. Will joins from Rosslyn Park having also played for Ampthill in the Championship and National 1. He was a Loughborough Student and played for Leicester Tigers in their A XV.
Other backs joining include exciting prospect Harry Faulkner who helped Camberley to promotion last season, playing fly half or full-back. Sam O'Leary-Blade also joins having played on the wing for Loughborough Students and Wimbledon while former Whitgift School full-back Sam M'Boge joins us from Hong Kong Scottish having been at Exeter Uni where he also appeared for Exeter Chiefs A League team.
Our connection with friends at Weybridge Vandals grows again this season. Joining skipper Adam Bullett are former Vandals Juniors James Gulliver and Harry Robinson. Both have been playing for Leeds Beckett University where back-row James was captain in a successful season in the BUCS Super League. Harry, a wing, played for the Uni and also in National 1 for Leeds Tykes while at Uni. We look forward to building on the connection with Vandals to help both Clubs develop.
At half-back we welcome scrum-half Jacob Ham who spent last season at Chinnor, having played previously at South Leicester and Stourbridge. Outside him will be Owen Waters who returns to us having had a season at Rosslyn Park following his graduation from Loughborough University. Another returning player is prop Dan Lamb who was previously on loan to us from Blackheath, he joins several other players who have made the switch from Blackheath over the last three seasons.
Strengthening the forwards has been a priority although this is a challenging area for recruitment. We are delighted to welcome back-row Jack Rouse who switches from Richmond having played for them and Doncaster in the Championship. Jack is another Exeter Uni graduate and played for England Students while at Uni.
We retain good relationships with London Irish and Harlequins with whom we are working to offer long-term playing opportunities for their Academy players. London Irish have confirmed that former England U18 prop Afolabi Fosagbon will be attached to us along with centre Jack Walsh who was part of the St Paul's College Sunbury AASE champion team two years ago and went to Halliford School before that.
Director of Ruby Peter Winterbottom is delighted with the new additions and is looking forward to seeing a stronger 1st XV, Cardinals and Abbotts competing this season. Nobody is underestimating the challenge of National 1 and the players are already working hard under Head Coach Chris Wilkins and S&C Head Harrison Edgson to prepare for their first match, away at Rams on 3rd September.
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