Familiar faces return to Cambridge Rugby this season as all four of last season’s centres are retained, in addition to new recruit Sam Hanks who joins the blood and sand from fellow Championship team Ampthill.
Head Coach Richie Williams is elated to add Sam to the mix;
“I am excited to reveal a new signing in our midfield, Sam Hanks, who joins us from Ampthill, where he made in excess of 100 appearances.
“He has Championship experience with both Ampthill and London Scottish and that experience will be invaluable to our squad. I have tracked his progress since coaching him as a 19-year-old, where he played in the same England Counties team as Kwaku Asiedu.”
“He has grown his game considerably over time and matured as a player. I believe he will add another layer to our attack this season and has settled in really well.”
Listen to “Hanksy” speaking with Jacko:
Meanwhile, Matt Hema, Scott Lloyd, Tom Hoppe and Matty Williams all return for another season at the Blood and Sand. With Williams citing their performances as the key to last season’s success;
“All four players played crucial roles throughout the season and will be vital to our success again this season.”
New Zealand born 29-year-old centre; Matt Hema returns for season number six a centurion of the club boasting over 100 caps;
“After missing a large chunk of last season due to personal reasons, Hema returned to Cambridge just after Christmas to give the squad a much-needed lift at a crucial period of the campaign.”
Williams was keen to invite such a versatile player back into his side for the new season;
“Hema’s ability to play wing was a real positive during the winter months, before returning to his accustomed position of centre for the last part of the season. He is a powerful player who has developed a level of finesse over the years. He has amassed 134 appearances and will want to rip into the Championship.”
Welsh centre, Scott Lloyd is also back and ready for more in Cambridge’s centenary year;
“Scott Lloyd joined the club from Carmarthen Quins midway through the 2021/22 season and has gone on to play 32 times. Despite his young age, he has developed his leadership qualities and will be looking to impose himself again this season and gain some real consistency in his performances.”
Another Welshman in Tom Hoppe returns ready to make history for the club as he lines up alongside his brother and recent new signing, Benji.
“Tom Hoppe is going into his 2nd season at the club and will be looking to build on some stellar performances from the back end of last season.”
“He is a hard-working and conscientious player that has worked really hard in the off-season and come back in excellent condition. I am excited to see him achieve his potential this season and to potentially take the field with his younger brother Benji. They will be making history as the first set of brothers to play Championship Rugby with Cambridge.”
24-year-old Matty Williams returns for back-to-back seasons at Cambridge after stepping up last year;
“Matty Williams quickly established himself as a solid dependable player early last season, after Matt Hema had to travel back to New Zealand. He made his first appearance at home against Sale FC in a confident and assured display. He was then able to play another 13 games and cement his place into the squad. He works extremely hard on his craft and will be looking for an injury free season.”
Today’s news is the penultimate reveal of Cambridge Rugby’s squad before the season gets underway in early September. Keep your eyes peeled tomorrow as the final pieces of the squad are unveiled.