The return of rugby after 18 months has been challenging for the sport and us included, with adult playing numbers low across the game. Pleasingly the Sharks are bucking the trend and numbers are steadily increasing
The 1stXV has had an excellent start to the season (Bredon away apart) and proudly sit at the top of their league. They are playing a great standard of rugby, including excellent wins against the 2nd teams of local rivals Cheltenham Tigers and Old Pats. Service players are also dominating the league statistics, with Ollie Wilton leading both the tries and points scored table for the league.
We’ve been really pleased at the amount of supporters that have come down to watch and hope that they’ve enjoyed what they’ve seen. The squad now includes a number of new players who have settled into the team really well. Forthcoming games against Painswick and Stroud are to come before Christmas which will help define the season.
Sadly the 2ndXV have suffered due to a lack of numbers and we haven’t played as many games as we would have wanted. We are working with other local clubs to try and get players games on as regular basis as possible and initial signs are positive. As noted above, we are not unique in this situation and many other clubs both locally and nationwide are experiencing the same problem. We also have a number of players out injured and hope that these returning will help stabilise the 2ndXV as the season progresses.
Whilst the ladies have also recruited well and have generally had good numbers training, their league is also suffering from a shortage of players. This has lead to a number of postponements across the league which we hope will be rescheduled for the new year.
The Sharks have continued to develop and all age groups have now played matches this season. They all play with a great spirit and are enjoying their rugby, supported by the Kids First ethos of the Sharks. This has lead to increased numbers across the teams (U14s particularly) and has been great to see.
Cheltenham Civil Service RFC