Paul Morris, Cinderford RFC Director of Rugby, is delighted to announce the signings of Chris Rovery and Eamonn Rees from Lydney RFC; Sam Goatley from Bury St Edmunds RFC and Chris McNeil from Matson RFC.
Rovery (22) joined Lydney from Thornbury and became an important member of their 1st XV in the back row. He represented Gloucestershire against Cornwall and Surrey in this year’s County Championship as an open side flanker. Morris commented: “Chris has genuine enthusiasm for the game, will add depth and competition to our back row options and is a very welcome addition.
“He is also versatile enough to convert to hooker, which is an option we may explore.”
Rees (21), a Welshman, joined Lydney from Avonmouth Old Boys via his home club of Caldicot. Primarily a full-back, Rees has also played league rugby for Lydney at scrum-half.
He also represented Gloucestershire against Cornwall and Surrey in this year’s County Championship. Morris said: “Eamonn has big boots to fill at full-back with the departure of Mike Wilcox, but he is a player we rate very highly and think this move is a natural progression for him. “We have fought hard to get him here. His attitude is top class and his talent undoubted. “He will benefit from the competition Stefan Hawley will provide, when he is fit, as will Stefan from Eamonn.”
Goatley (25), a centre, joins from Bury St Edmunds, where he played in National Two South last season. He is a local lad and part of a family boasting five rugby playing brothers. The eldest brother Joe was a firm Cinderford favourite several years ago. Goatley also had a spell at Old Centralians before joining Bury St Edmunds. Morris added: “We are delighted Sam has moved back to Gloucestershire and decided to join Cinderford as we were eager to secure his registration.” “His rugby pedigree, ability and heritage is unquestioned, and I believe he will become a popular and effective member of our squad.”
McNeil (28), an openside flanker, rejoins Cinderford from Matson RFC. Originally a product of Chosen Hill School, St Peter’s School and Chosen Hill RFC, McNeil joined Cinderford back in 2006 as a teenager. He played in the promotion play-off final of 2008, against Darlington Mowden Park, which saw Cinderford promoted to National One. McNeil was part of the highly successful Matson side of last season, which lost only one game. The Director of Rugby said: “Maccer needs little introduction to Cinderford supporters. “He has been one of Cinderford’s very best players in the past. “Hopefully the injures, which have dogged him in recent seasons are behind him and he rejoins after an extremely successful season with Matson last year. “His competitive instincts remain intact and he will provide experience as well as increased training standards within the squad.”
Morris also hinted he may not yet be done shopping for new faces. “We will be announcing a number of exciting signings in the near future, including some familiar faces. “We feel all players within the squad have the chance to challenge for First XV honours under the influence of our coaching team of Adam Balding, Clive Stuart-Smith, Andrew Stanley, Richard Planchant and Seb Merritt.”