PGRFC have continued to strengthen their playing squad with two new additions to their back division. Following in the footsteps of hooker Alan Holmes, centre Jack Ward and winger Matthew Gargett make the short trip down the M55 after leaving neighbours Fylde.
Both players were regular members of the Fylde 1st XV when the Woodlands outfit were in National Two North with Ward scoring eight tries in 38 appearances whilst Gargett scored five tries in 36 appearances. However both players have seen their opportunities limited as big name signings have been brought in following promotion.
Speaking on his return to Lightfoot Green where he played as a mini junior Jack said “I had five good years at Fylde with two years in the 1st XV in which we had some success. I really enjoyed my time there but I felt it was time for a new challenge and I’ve been made to feel really welcome at Hoppers. It was a really enjoyable game last week for the 2nd XV and I look forward to being part of the squad and putting myself in the selection mix”.
On his move to Hoppers Matthew said “My time at Fylde was good and it was a really enjoyable time. However I needed a change and I’ve been really impressed with the set up at Hoppers. Training is sharp and intense and I’m looking forward to getting involved”.
Rugby Management member Gareth Dyer said on behalf of the club “We are delighted that two such talented young players have decided to join us. Jack and Matthew know what is required to play at National Two level and they are two players who we know a lot about. Jack is a former Hoppers junior so it is always satisfying when one of our youngsters returns to his roots. Both Jack and Matthew will give us options behind the scrum and it adds to the level of competition in the squad”.
Speaking on the shape of the squad Dyer said “We are getting some real strength in depth and competition for places developing. There is no ring fence situation when it comes to selection at Preston. The players are encouraged to train hard and enjoy being part of a large squad. The team spirit is strong and it is pleasing how many players have earned promotion to the 1st XV having impressed with their displays in the 2nd XV. There is still lots of improvement to be had on and off the pitch but we are all working hard to get the club to where we want to be. We have a lot going for us as a club given our prominent location, excellent facilities whilst being part of a city environment means we are determined to raise our profile to ensure more people take an interest in a thriving community club”.