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Bishop's Stortford strenghten their forward pack with the addition of Coventry loanees Freddie Betteridge and Jake Bridges plus Nottingham trainee Jacob Wrafter

Bishop's Stortford have added three new recruits to strengthen their forward pack ahead of the 2021-22 National League 1 season.

Jacob Wrafter, Freddie Betteridge and Jake Bridges join the Silver Leys club to increase the options at the disposal of joint head coaches Tom Coleman and Marcus Cattell.

Wrafter, 22, who plays in the back row, arrives having been studying at Nottingham University and training with Nottingham's wider Championship squad.

Betteridge, 21, operates in the second row and has joined on loan from Championship side Coventry, as has 20-year-old prop Bridges.

"The new players will strengthen us after we targeted strengthening the forward pack," said Coleman, whose players returned for pre-season training last week.

"We're not quite done yet and are hoping to add a couple more to the group to give us that depth in the forward pack. It's a very intense season, so having that is quite crucial."

Stortford are also hoping to have back-rower Aiden Burnett, who joined ahead of the cancelled 2020-21 campaign, back by the end of the month as he is currently representing Zimbabwe in World Cup qualifiers.

Fitness is the main focus of Stortford's initial pre-season training sessions before they turn their attention to being match-ready for friendlies against Westcliff, Bury St Edmunds and Hertford in August.

"We've had a couple of sessions now and the boys are looking good," said Coleman, whose team begin their league campaign away to promoted Tonbridge Juddians on September 4.

"There's a tough block of fitness stuff for them now before a block where we come back to playing games.

"We did a lot of recruitment before last season and those boys haven't had the opportunity to play league rugby yet, so hopefully they'll get that this season."

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