Worthing Raiders chief excited over new National League season

Worthing Raiders are gearing up for a new season of National League with the club’s director of rugby declaring: It’s going to be an exciting season.

Last time Worthing Raiders played a National League game - in March 2020 / Picture: Stephen Goodger
Last time Worthing Raiders played a National League game - in March 2020 / Picture: Stephen Goodger

Raiders start the National two season on September 4 away to Guernsey, playing their first home game a week later against Bury St Edmunds. The season finishes at home to Guernsey on April 30.

Director of rugby Rene Draude has revealed a 40-strong senior squad featuring 11 new players.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

Draude said: “It’s really pleasing to see some players returning to the Raiders squad in addition to a new players joining to strengthen the squad as we look to start what should be an exciting, competitive season in National two and the Surrey Premier League for our first and second XVs.

“In July and August we’ll additionally look to welcome some of last year’s colts into senior rugby in addition to some Harlequins players into the Raiders squad who will be dual-registered with Harlequins and Worthing RFC.”

Draude highlighted players departing for university who’d been part of the squad last season – Sam Adu, Dan Cade, Jamie Smith, Lewis Decarteret, Will Sanderson, Don Torricelli, Thomas Sanderson, Donovan Tomlinson, Caelan Stanton and Josh Tusler.

Scott Barlow, after 122 matches and eight tries for Raiders, has decided to hang up his boots.

Draude said: “Scott’s made a huge contribution to the club through many seasons and we wish Scott all the best for the future.”

Draude added: “I’m exceptionally excited for not only the season ahead, but also looking into our youth section and youth Raiders development programme as there is exceptional talent coming through, in addition to numbers continuing to grow in nearly all sections across our club.”

Raiders squad: Rhys Litterick, Ken Dowding, Johnny Staples, Henry Birch, Grant Gatford, Tom Adams, Dan Sargent, Fraser Bruce, Max Ravaudet, Tom Young, George Manners, Joe Fife, Will Scholes, Jack Lee, Jack Lake, Rob Cuffe, Ran McGuire, Caelan Stanton, George Harris, Elliott Quinton, Liam Perkins, Kemp Price, Jon Whittall, Charlie Atkinson, Rhys Morgan, Nick Betts, Alexander Roberts, Kieran Leeming, Dave Winsor, Tom Gwyther, Lou Parker, Tristan Blewett, Jared Penfold, Matt McLean, Charlie Spencer, Harrison Sims, George Payne, Charlie Quarren Evans, Donovan Tomlinson, Morgan Tomlinson, Will Beer.