Rather than another pre-season fixture, Hartpury University RFC trained ‘behind-closed-doors’ at the lavishly appointed Bristol Bears training centre on Friday.
The overall session lasted around 90minutes and comprised of a number of attack/defence scenarios for both clubs, played at full tempo and full contact.
The Bears had the majority of their big name players engaged in the session, with just a few absences.
Former Hartpury student and newly-capped England Rugby scrum-half, Harry Randall, played his part in proceedings, as did Dan Thomas, Callum Sheedy, Andy Uren and Jake Armstrong, who all have played for the RFC in the past. The game-play was officiated by Premiership referee, Christophe Ridley.
We won’t be publishing any further details of the session, but it is worth saying that the Hartpury boys performed exceptionally well both with and without the ball, showing good organisation and resilience defensively while looking sharp on many occasions with the ball in hand.
Bristol Bears DoR, Pat Lam, was quick to praise the Hartpury players for their commitment, effort and the quality of their rugby after the session, a sentiment that was echoed by John Barnes and Mark Cornwell.
Hartpury’s next big occasion will be next Saturday, 18 September, when we travel to Ealing Trailfinders for what is sure to be a demanding opener to the Championship season (3pm).