With the end of every season comes the time when we have to say ‘goodbye’ to a few of players who have made Hartpury their ‘home’ – even if it has just been for a season or two.
We can now announce the players of 2017-18 who will not be at the Gillman’s Ground next season (for Hartpury, at least). In contains two or three players who have committed significant time to the club and, in the case of both George Boulton and Ben So’oialo-Chan, many years indeed.
Both have represented Hartpury in student rugby, with Boulton’s career encompassing AASE (2012) and BUCS (2014) wins at Twickenham, while So’oialo-Chan was also a BUCS winner in 2012. Both lads have also worked at Hartpury in off-field roles.
Also moving on will be ‘back five’ forward Joe Dancer, who joined the club at the start of the 2014-15 season – our first in National One – and who was very much a part of our unbeaten promotion campaign in 2016-17.
We are not yet in position to disclose where these players are likely to be playing next season, although the suggestion is that none of them might be travelling too far!
The other players who are moving on have been with us in the Championship this year, joining during the last preseason. In fact BJ Edwards and Alex Ducker have already left on loan – to Leicester Tigers and Redruth respectively.
Also departing are prop forward Mike Daniels, who will be joining Nottingham Rugby (see you next season, Mike), fly-half James James Williams – returning to his former club, Birmingham Moseley in National One – and back row forward Darrel Dyer, who will be travelling to southern France to link up with US Carcassonne. The final player on the list is wing/full-back Ed Coulson, whose destination is not known at this time.
Hartpury’s Director of Rugby, John Barnes, said “We would like to thank the players for their contributions this season and over the years. We wish them all the best at their new clubs and hope to see them at the Gillman’s Ground again soon.”
Above: Top row – George Boulton, Ben So’oialo-Chan, Joe Dancer; Middle row – James Williams, Mike Daniels, BJ Edwards; Bottom row – Alex Ducker, Darrel Dyer, Ed Coulson.