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Dan Leo's departure opens door for Stortford's young talent

By Paul Winspear

Dan Leo in action for Stortford against Coventry at Silver Leys in January Pic: Vikki Lince
Dan Leo in action for Stortford against Coventry at Silver Leys in January Pic: Vikki Lince

Bishop's Stortford are getting used to life without Dan Leo as they prepare to make a delayed start to their pre-season fixtures against Coventry this Friday (Aug 10).

A combination of family and work commitments has meant the former Samoan international forward has returned to former club London Cornish.

Stortford director of rugby Andy Long was sad to see the big man depart Silver Leys, but it gives the likes of homegrown talents James Thacker, Charlie Kingham and Oli Jones the chance to impress in the back row.

The squad have been putting in plenty of hard work over the summer and were due to host Coventry in their first friendly on Tuesday (Aug 7), but the match was called off last week due to the dryness of the playing surface. The game will now go ahead this Friday on Cheshunt RFC’s artificial pitch.

Stortford have continued to strengthen their squad over the summer. Prop Louis Castiglione has joined from Hertford while Saracens academy centre Reuben Bird-Tulloch has arrived on dual registration. And Tom Walker, who can play on the wing and at full-back, has stepped up to the senior programme having been a colt last season.

“We were hoping we’d get another season out of Dan, but we wish him well because he’s been brilliant for us,” said Long. “He’ll always be a good friend of the club.

“We can’t wait to get going. Our new coaching group has been working really hard and we’re seeing the benefits. It feels like it’s getting all joined up and now we need to translate that work into games.”


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