WE are now at that stage in the season when rumours abound about players changing clubs and this year is no exception.
We made our position clear as we published in full details of all our players from last season - those who have re-signed and those who are leaving – several weeks ago.
We have no more re-signings to announce and we are moving on to start the announcements about new players for the coming season.
The player who has perhaps attracted the biggest interest is former Rotherham Titans fly-half Mike Whitehead. Mike was our target first choice fly-half last summer but, unfortunately, business commitments took him south and he ended up playing for Esher.
Mike had two cracking games for Esher against the Knights and he was obviously a key target of our new director of rugby, Brett Davey, once he found out that he was looking to move back north for the coming season.
Brett has also signed two exciting wingers in Michael Keating from Leinster and former Coventry flier Ben Toft who has spent the past season playing in France. Brett has also signed England Students hooker Jack Yeandle, who really is a big lump of a lad. We have offers in with a number of other players and, if they all accept (and the indications are that they all will), this will leave just one vacancy in the pack for Brett to fill.
The names of these players will not be released until we receive their signed contracts but already, as I have said earlier, the rumour mongers are at work. Perhaps we will have to seek super-injunctions.
The format of the British and Irish Cup will change next season to one which, in my mind, is crazy. There will be six groups of four teams with, for instance, the teams in group A playing those in group B and their position in group A will be determined on the basis of these results. The top two teams and the two best runners-up will contest the quarter finals. In my view, the cup organisers would have been better occupied seeking a sponsors and some national TV coverage, both of which they have singularly failed to do to date, instead of changing the format to the one used by Premiership clubs last season in the LV Cup.
I cannot remember reading a good word about this structure in the LV Cup so why impose it on the Championship clubs?