Springston to play in division one competition

PROGRESSION: The Springston division two team won their grade last year and will now look to have success in the division one grade this year. PHOTO: Nigel Johnston

Springston will have a rugby team in the top grade for the first time in 17 years.

The team will be competing in the division one grade, starting Saturday, in the Luisetti club combined competition.

The division two side have been dominant, winning the Greg Hill Shield last year and in 2015 after being beaten finalists in 2014. With club stalwart Anton Sutherland taking the reins as head coach this season, the call was made to move up a grade.

Club captain Nigel Johnston said they thought it was time to have a go in the top division. “They [the players, coach and management] are all really keen at having a crack at these top sides. We have quite a young squad with a mix of older player but there is heaps of enthusiasm,” he said.

The colts are also champions, winning the Tony Lee Shield last year. In the past, some of those players have moved on due to the club not having a division one side, president Lance Field said.

The side will be captained by open-side flanker Sam Lawn and will get its campaign under way against Kaiapoi in Springston on Saturday at 2.45pm.

“Sam is a brilliant player,” Johnston said. “He is small but extremely fit and tough and there is no better tackler in the game. He captained the division two team for the past few years and always leads from the front.”

The match coincides with a junior club day so younger players can meet their teammates and the coaches involved.

Two players in the Springston backline worth a mention include Connor Hamlin, a utility who will play at fullback and sometimes at first-five, and midfield-machine Michael Sheenan, a big, strong, fast, ball carrier who is lethal on defence, Johnston said.

The side is looking for more sponsorship, Johnston said. Anyone keen to help out should phone 027 777 2877.