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Bishop's Stortford to face Greene King IPA Championship side Ealing Trailfinders in pre-season

By Michael Vaughton

Bishop's Stortford have announced a three-game pre-season schedule ahead of the new National League 1 campaign.

They will entertain Old Albanian on Saturday, August 17 (3pm) and travel to Ealing Trailfinders on Saturday, August 24 (3pm) before hosting Hertford on Thursday, August 29 (8pm).

OAs finished 10th in National League 2S last term having been relegated from National League 1 in 2018.

Bishop's Stortford taking on Old Albanian in 2017-18. Picture: Vikki Lince
Bishop's Stortford taking on Old Albanian in 2017-18. Picture: Vikki Lince

Ealing will be a big test for Stortford after they pushed champions London Irish the closest as they ended up second in the Greene King IPA Championship.

The short trip to Hertford will see director of rugby Andy Long's men take on a side who came fifth in London & SE Premier last season.

"OAs will be a good contest for us. They've got new coaches in place and will be excited about coming to us," said Long. "It will give us an opportunity to use the whole squad.

"Ealing will be a different game and that will be our hardest run-out. For them to contact me and want to play our team is a privilege.

"They pushed London Irish really close when it came to winning the Championship, so playing them will be fantastic.

"It's then a quick turnaround for the Hertford game. We can rest a few players and give game time to some of the other boys before the first league game.

"It's going to be a long old slog before Christmas with no break week, so we'll have to be clever with how we rest and rotate the boys.

"Pre-season is a balancing act with that in mind but also knowing you want to hit those first four games of the season hard."

Stortford's league campaign begins on Saturday, September 7 away to Plymouth Albion.

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