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Rivals meet in opener


Newark Rugby Club will start their campaign in Midlands Two East next season at their old Nottinghamshire rivals Mansfield who have returned to the league after their relegation.

A new captain will lead Newark into the game on Saturday September 13 after centre Ed Collishaw was selected at the club’s annual meeting to take over from Danny Coen, the scrum-half and a key figure in the team’s success last term.

Coen has said he will continue to play next season in a squad looking to build on last season’s fourth place in the league and a first triumph in the Three Counties Cup since 1990.

Newark beat Mansfield in a tense semi-final at Kelham Road and then completed a double over them by winning in the Notts Cup as well.

The first visitors to Kelham Road next season will be Scunthorpe, another relegated side from Midlands One, on September 20.

Other new opponents in the 22-match campaign will be Dunstablians, Wellingborough and Leighton Buzzard.

The appointment of Collishaw comes following a successful first season after joining from Nottingham along with the coaching team of Bob Fowkes and Bob Nashed who are continuing in their roles at Kelham Road.

Club members also elected Alex Jackson to continue as second team captain after a successful first season when his side won the Notts Pennant. The 3rd XV will be led by Craig Johnson while Darren Boddy will join Martin Brown in heading up the 4th XV.

Members also elected a new life member in Tony Rose, the club’s long-standing major sponsor through his company Newark Storage, and a former player at the club.

Jacki Hunter, the club president, said his contribution had played huge part in keeping the club successful.

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