Westcombe Park announce new signings and retention's for the 2019/20 campaign

Westcombe Park announce new signings and retention's for the 2019/20 campaign

By Mark Ley
26th July
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New signings, returning players and the majority of last seasons squad to make up the teams battling for 1st and 2nd XV honours


Westcombe Park are delighted to announce their senior playing squad for the 2019/20 1st and 2nd XV league campaign's, a number of new signings combined with the majority of last season's squad retained ensure that we have strength in depth and fierce competition for 1st XV starting spots.

New Signings

Dom Lespierre
Westcombe Park RFC are delighted to announce the signing of Dom Lespierre from Old Elthamian’s for the 2019/20 London 1 South Season. Dom joined Old Elthamians in the summer of 2016 from Coventry and has been a stalwart of the OE’s backline ever since. The 32-year-old winger made 81 appearances for them scoring 68 try's, notably scoring 36 in their 2016/17 National 2 campaign, a club record helping them to promotion. Lespierre maintained his impressive form from then on, scoring 18 try's in National 1 2017/18 and 14 in 2018/19 season. Dom represented Guyana from 2010 – 2019 in the commonwealth games, 2 IRB seven’s series, Pan American games, World Cup and Olympic qualifiers. We are very pleased and excited that Dom has chosen to join Westcombe Park on our quest back to the National leagues, he will no doubt play a big part.
“I am delighted to join Westcombe Park and be a part of their ongoing journey to get back to being the well-established side in Kent they once were. The setup we have with a good mixture of youth and senior players will allow us to mount a serious promotion campaign. At this stage of my career it is great to be at a club that understands the importance of balance.”

Max Wilkins
Born in Kent, Max had a number of stellar seasons in the number 12 or 13 shirt which led to him winning England Schoolboy caps, a contract with Saracens and playing National 1 rugby with Old Elthamians. He now brings a wealth of experience to Westcombe Park.
‘It’s great to join a club with so much history and a club that I can see from the outside treats each and every member like family. I grew up playing rugby against Combe, so it’s going to be strange but what Rob and his team are building here is hugely exciting!’

Aidan Devane
Former Bromley RFC Captain, Aiden is an abrasive back row/second row forward, with good leadership abilities and a passion for tackling and the contact elements of the game. Aidan has represented Cambridge University at both League and Union codes.
‘It’s a great to join the club, at a time where both I and them are looking to progress to higher standards. I know Joe the second team coach and he has spoken highly of Westcombe Park, I am really pleased to have joined, the training is really helping me.’

Gary Brett
Gary is a man mountain second row forward that has continually improved his rugby throughout his time in the sport, having joined the sport late Gary has progressed and joins Westcombe Park to do exactly that again. Gary’s former clubs include, New Ash Green & Gravesend RFC

Nick Hil
Nick is a former son of Combe that has come home. A well balanced and intelligent player. Nick will look to regain the number 9 jersey in a keenly contested spot in this year’s squad. We look forward to seeing him back in the blue and white. Nick’s former club is Chippenham RFC, we are very pleased he is returning to the club after a 2 year absence.

Tony Sprangers
An exciting challenge for an experienced national league scrum half, Tony bring experience and a combative approach to the position, a snappy no nonsense type of ‘kiwi’ nine that wants to play every week. Tony played rugby at Southend and Barnes respectively in the National leagues before joining Westcombe Park.
‘Rob and I have been in contact for some months now, he invited me to have a run out with the boys last year, I got to know the squad on a fun coach ride back from Chichester and everything was exactly as we discussed. A competitive group, great fun, but with real ambition and high standards. I can’t wait to get cracking.’

Piers Johnson
“I’m happy to be here, I’m really looking forward to having a positive season here at Westcombe. With the standard of players here, the target will be promotion and only promotion. So I can’t wait to be involved’
PJ a former student at Brunel university & Kingston University is a teacher and has a young family, living quite locally to us he is a welcome addition and his ability will be for all to see. PJ’s former clubs include Old Elthamians, Camberley, Askeans

John Kopra
John Joins us from Barnes, formerly with Eton Manor this front row forward is versatile, full of energy and has a very combative style. Experienced JK will add a competitive element to our front row and a no nonsense attitude to boot.
‘When I spoke to rob last season I was really impressed with where he saw the Westcombe Park journey heading, for one reason and another I couldn’t make it last time out but I am so pleased to have joined up this year, training is top notch and I can’t wait to start playing’

Luke Murphy-Wooldridge
A skilled Tighthead prop that provides knowledge and edge to our front row, having experienced Wold Cup Rugby with Ireland at U18/20 groups he has the ‘know-how’ and skills to really drive our pack this year. He represented Kent throughout the junior age groups before joining Saracens Academy. Having played at Saracens Luke then progressed his education at Nottingham University, playing regularly for them, before returning and playing for Old Elthamians.
‘I'm really looking forward to the challenge with Combe, once I spoke with Rob it was an easy choice for me, the opportunity to build something with the club is exciting.’

Joe Craig
Former Canterbury lock Joe, brings experience leadership and a physicality to the Westcombe Park pack. Joe played a number of games for newly promoted National 1 Canterbury, along with captaining there 2XV for 20+ matches over the past two seasons.
‘Looking forward to getting Westcombe Park promoted back to the level this club should be playing at’

Steven Roe
Stephen joins us on his return from Exeter University, where he played both centre and wing for the university 1XV/2XV teams. Based back in Beckenham, Stephen is looking to play the best standard of rugby he can locally, Westcombe Park are extremely happy to have him on board.
‘ I am excited to be a part of an amazingly talented group of players, it’s going to be a test just making it into the match day squad each week, which is the type of challenge I relish. Rob invited me to play in the last match of the year and I loved the enthusiasm of the players and the professional approach of the coaches, so I am looking forward to a great few seasons ahead ’

Joel Medcraft
Another Westcombe Park son returning to the club having studied (& played) at Loughborough University Joel played last year in Fed 1 in France. Joel is a very talented back with the ability to playing a number of positions in the backline, a balanced runner with excellent fleet of foot he will surely be one to watch for the combe faithful this time out.
‘It’s great to be back home at Combe, the squad looks great and the fresh approach of the new coach has made a real difference from what I see. Excited to be back and want to make a real impact.’

Sam Atiola.
Sam came on loan last season from Tonbridge Juddiians and has signed for us for the 2019/20 campaign. Sam is a hard running Tongan centre who has represented his country, Sam thrives on the physical aspect of the game. He gives 110% every time he takes to the field or training paddock, Sam sets the standards for others to follow and he is looking forward to a full season with his new club.

Ben Harvey
A 'Combe boy through and through, Ben returns to us from his studies at Hartpury College where he made an impact in the BUCS leagues. A versatile player happy to play in the forwards or the back's Ben showed everybody what he is capable of when scoring 2 try's from distance in last seasons Kent plate final. Sam plays with a smile on his face and is delighted to be back at Combe and challenging for a 1st XV spot.

Renford Bennett
Unknown to many Renford actually played youth rugby at Combe before embarking on a stunning rugby career the made him OE's top try scorer. Renford is a personal trainer and is in possibly he best physical shape of his life, his attitude is spot on and he will undoubtedly become a fans favourite once the season starts.

Retained:

Forwards
Sean Beckett
Billy Bignell
Jordan Cox
Jordan DeHaarte
Dylan Eames
Manny Effiom
Will Hall
James Lindfield
James McKeown
Tom Simmons
James Simmons
Tom Clarke
Sam O’Neil
Luke Delderfield
James Dennett
Thibaud Calohard
Ryan Hackett
Charlie O'Sullivan
David Pohlen
George Milligan
Dan Fox

Backs:
Abdul Adedeji
Alex Cahill
Owen Church-Mills
Ben Fryatt
Matt Harrison
Josh Penney
Ben Walters
Chris Weaver
Brad Saffery
Bryan Young
Dan Hamilton
Joe Birch
Bradley Bateup

Director of rugby Rob Lawrence say's "I have been extremely busy in the off season, we had specific targets and I'm delighted that we managed to sign all but one of them. News has spread locally of the desire of the club to eventually get back to the National leagues and it has been quite pleasing that a number of local players have joined us to be part of that journey. Competition for 1st XV places is hotter than ever before and the lads are responding well in training and laying down markers. I am going to have to make some very difficult selection decisions which is a nice problem to have. I'm looking forward to seeing the Combe faithful on the touchline supporting the established players and welcoming the new players into the 'Combe family.

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