Hampstead skipper Max wants to see Raw effort from the very start

Hampstead's new captain Max Rawlinson. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Hampstead's new captain Max Rawlinson. Pic: Paolo Minoli - Credit: Archant

Hampstead start the new season looking to build on last year’s third-place finish in London Division Two North-West by pushing for promotion.

The Parliament Hill Fields outfit have a new captain in Max Rawlinson, while Dave Christie has replaced long-time coach Ali Halsall, bringing fresh ideas to the back line and bolstering the pack with some new faces.

A strong pre-season means Hampstead go into their first game against Chiswick full of confidence – but Rawlinson is predicting a tough contest.

“Chiswick away is one of the hardest fixtures in our season,” Rawlinson said. “If we start well then we’ve got a great chance. The first 10 minutes are vital.”

Hampstead chairman Simon Taylor added: “For the last five seasons we have had a strong standing, with the first XV always being in the top four of their league.

“In the same period the lower sides have all tasted either merit table wins, promotion or have contested cup finals, and the ladies have risen up the leagues on a regular basis.

“Now, with a junior section rapidly growing and soon to encompass pre-school rugby, there is a collective will to take the next step.

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“We have had a lot of newcomers and feel it is right to be ambitious and target promotion for a number of sides – especially our men’s and ladies’ first XVs.”