Renwick rugby invests in club's future for 101st year
Success on the field has been lean for Renwick Rugby Club over recent seasons.
However, with the 2017 premier club competition due to kick off on March 25 the Green Machine have spent the off-season investing diligently in player resources.
"There's been a lot of work from the club over the past few months to get Renwick rugby back to the top pedestal," says senior player manager Dean Fielding.
"Club supporters and committee members have lent support to try and turn the club's fortunes on the field around for the coming season."
Last season was a milestone for the club, 12 kilometres west of Blenheim, which celebrated its centenary with good wins against strong opposition, Dean says.
The target for the club in 2017 is to build on the previous successes.
A 26-26 draw against strong North Canterbury team Glenmark in a pre-season game in early March promised the club will be competitive.
"The reality is we have to be at the level where we are not only equal to Marlborough club sides but also competing with Nelson sides," Dean says.
With Nelson being used as the training base for the Tasman Makos, Marlborough players and clubs were on the back foot, he says.
"Our [Marlborough Boys' College] First XV boys are approached at school to sign up with Nelson clubs and progress through the Tasman setup."
Renwick will introduce some exciting talent to the premier competition, Dean says.
"We have two former Marlborough Boys' College First XV players in Henry Leov and Quinn Harrison-Jones joining us for the premiers squad who we have high hopes for.
"They are the future of the club and keeping them in the region helps us to keep rugby strong on this side of the hill."
Former New South Wales sevens squad member Chris Bolton has also joined the club to shore up halfback resources.
Promising Fijian No 8 eight Rusiate Saukuru will debut in the pack, and joins his compatriots winger Peceli Denicaucau and centre Kavekini Kabu, who have both returned for the season.
The side will be co-captained by Glen Ballam and Sam White.
Supporters will have a chance to meet the premier team at an open day at the Giesen Sports and Events Centre in Renwick on Saturday from 11am.
- The Marlborough Express