The players returned to training this week as temperatures jumped towards 30 degrees for the first time this year.
A large contingent of students returned early, bolstered by staff and other players who will likely form the nucleus of the RFC squad this season. Other squad members are expected to arrive over the next few days.
After fitness testing on Monday, the group got their hands on a ball in an early morning session on the rubber crumb today. Even at 8.30am, there was enough heat about to ensure that water was an absolute essential.
The build-up will continue before the pre-season fixtures come along, starting in mid-August with home matches against Preston Grasshoppers and Clifton. A trip to Ealing Trailfinders on Saturday, August 27th will see the intensity go up a level or two before the opening league clash, at home to Blackheath, a week later (Saturday 3rd September, 2.30pm).