Driffield RUFC ‘raring to go’ ahead of new season on Regional One North East

DRUFC chairman of rugby, Patrick ‘Bash’ Burdass, said his club is raring to go for the new season after the 2022-23 fixtures were released.

On the back of finishing third in last season’s North One East, the Woldsmen earned promotion to the newly-formed Regional 1 North East amid the RFU’s pyramid restructure.

Driffield travel to Paviors, based just north of Nottingham, for their opening match on Saturday 3rd September, a side who finished second from bottom in the Midland Premier last season.

This will be a tough league, but I think it is one which we can be confident about being competitive in. We are looking forward to the season and raring to go


DRUFC welcome Wakefield side Sandal to Kelleythorpe the following week in their first home game of the season.

Local derbies are few and far between compared to recent years, with York being the most anticipated clash for the Woldsmen who travel to Clifton Park on 1st October before the return match being the first game of 2023 on 7th January.

The final game of the season is on Saturday 11th March against Paviors at Kelleythorpe, with the streamlining of pyramid meaning there are just 12 teams per division as opposed to the previous 14, with additional cup matches to take place in the spring.

Bash told the Wolds Weekly: “The fixtures have been kinder to us this season, as we only have two home games in September, not the three which we have had in recent years.

“Another positive is that we start with an away match, meaning we finish at home, which can be crucial.

“We play Paviors in round one, but they are a side that we know nothing about to be honest.

“There are a few teams we haven’t played before or for a long time, which is always nice.

“The first fixture post-Christmas being York at home is a good one for us too, it will hopefully bring a good crowd and is much better than travelling to Alnwick.

“This will be a tough league, but I think it is one which we can be confident about being competitive in.

“We are looking forward to the season and raring to go.”

A players’ meeting will be hosted tonight (Tuesday 28th June) before pre-season training begins on Monday 4th July.

Friendly matches will see Driffield host Old Brodleians on Saturday 13th August and Derby the week after, being they travel to near neighbours Bridlington on Saturday 27th August which will see the return on the Turnbull Trophy.

No new signings have been confirmed by the Woldsmen as yet, however they will welcome Ed Falkingham back into the fold.

They have lost the services of Alex Cullen, who has moved abroad following his loan spell from Hull.

Bash continued: “If we can get Falky playing all season, that is like a new signing for us, but other than that, we haven’t any incomings as yet.

“Hopefully Ben Dinsdale will be fit for the full season too, as well as Rob Rix, which will make a big difference for us in the outside backs.

“Rob Mewburn has had a shoulder operation and will probably be out until October, but he will remain as our skipper.”

The 1st XV coaching set-up will also remain intact, with Stuart Cooper as director of rugby, with Tony ‘Tosh’ Askew leading the coaching staff of Alex Piercy, Chris Young and Richard Mitchell-Williams.

In the 2nd XV, James Dinsdale, who has suffered long-term knee injuries, will lead the coaching team, whilst Matthew Rowbottom has been chosen to skipper the side. Tom Sowersby will be his vice-captain.

The 3rd XV captain will be Will Megginson, taking over from Rob Norman after a decade in charge.

The fourths captain has yet to be announced.

The seconds will also be in a new league format, a change from the Yorkshire Premiership and will no longer see a mid-season split.

Instead, they are guaranteed 22 league fixtures in a division containing old foes Hull Ionians, Harrogate, Scunthorpe and Wharfedale, as well as new opponents including Alnwick, Billingham and Blaydon.

The league will be determined on points percentage and will conclude with an end-of-season play-off series to crown the champions.

Bash, who pushed for the seconds to be integrated into the pyramid, said: “This system is much better for us and our second team.

“If guarantees us plenty of fixtures and means we won’t be scrambling around for matches after Christmas.

“We hope to include some more of our Colts into the senior sides this year too.

“Anyone who has an interest in joining the club will be more than welcome and we look forward to seeing prospective players at training next week, regardless of age, ability or size.”

Training will take place from 7pm on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Kelleythorpe training pitches.

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