Top three target for rugby club

Paul Sandeman - H&B
Paul Sandeman - H&B

New coach Kevin Smith believes a top three finish would represent a decent season for Hastings & Bexhill.

The rugby club will kick-off its first campaign in Kent One on Saturday following its summer switch from Sussex One.

Smith said: “You always want to win the league, but if we’re going to be realistic, we’ve got a young back division and a top three place would be good.”

Former Eastbourne coach Smith has returned to H&B during the last two months following an absence of around 10 years and is eager for the club to hit the ground running.

“It’s always going to be a tougher league than Sussex One,” he continued. “I think the first three or four games are going to be the ones we have to look to win.”

H&B came fifth in Sussex One last time out with 14 wins and eight defeats from 22 matches. They will make their Kent bow away to an HSBC team which came ninth in 2010/11 with six wins, a draw and 13 losses from 20 games.

Smith added: “We’re a confidence side and if we’re on a roll, players are going to want to be part of it. We’ve got the technical ability there and there’s players that have shown me they’re quite skilful.”

Selection is due to take place tonight as opposed to the usual Tuesday slot and H&B expect to field a near full strength squad with one or two absentees as a result of pre-season knocks.

The full article will appear in tomorrow’s Observers.