Braintree Rugby Club are looking forward to playing competitive games again after an encouraging start to their pre-season preparations.

The Black and Ambers flirted with the spectre of relegation for much of last season, but had just enough in their locker to consolidate their status in London League division two north east.

And they are optimistic for the season ahead, which starts on September 13 with a home game against Holt.

Tom Carslake is set to take over as captain from John Smillie and Braintree will once again be marshalled by coaches Gary Coote, Brian Joslin and Darren Page.

The management trio will have further assistance in the shape of former Colchester coach Dave Locke, an RFU coach educator, and minis and youth coach Jamie Clarke.

Joslin said: “We’re raring to go after our close season break and we’ve had good numbers turning out for pre-season training."

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