A trio of international imports have been brought in to help sustain Bury St Edmunds’ status among the top 72 rugby clubs in the country.
The Wolfpack are determined to make sure their bark is as big as their bite as they look to maintain their fourth tier status after promotion to the highest level in their history last year.
As they did in the last two seasons to such great effect, Bury chiefs Terry Sands and Gavin Hogg have decided fresh blood will be used to spur them on to achieving their goals in the second half of the campaign.
“Myself and Terry have always thought it is good to bring two or three people in at this stage of the season as we feel it brings a bit of energy to the squad and adds a bit of competition for places,” said director of rugby Hogg, whose side are 12th but know a defeat at fellow current mid-table outfit Canterbury could well see them get dragged into a relegation dogfight.
Irishman Ben Traynor, a player who has spent the last few seasons playing third tier equivalent rugby in France, who started at fly-half in his home debut on Saturday before ending up at full-back, is the first in with Cypriot Dimitrius Christophe, a second row loose forward, and Pier Perez, a utility back who has come over from Canada, now training with Bury.
“We think Dimitrius will bring a bit of physicality to us,” said Hogg. “And we have got another French guy, Pier Perez, who is a utility back, a nine or outside back as well and he has done quite a bit of sevens with Terry at Samurai as well and he can add a bit of x-factor really to what we’ve already got.”
Hogg said the club will not be moving established or fringe players out of the club to accommodate the new signings but said he hoped the high standard the second team are now playing at, The Wolfhounds, will now come into its own as people vie for first-team shirts, even if that is through second XV games.
Hogg added: “We have been very honest and upfront with the players and told them there is going to be competition for places over the next few weeks.
“Everyone wants to be involved, which is a fantastic thing, but this keeps things fresh and everyone on their toes. We have a good 24-26 names in our head we think will be involved between now and our last game.”
Of Saturday’s display, from which kicking centre Scott Lyle declares his pride for the performance on our exclusive website video, Hogg said: “We spoke to the guys saying we draw a line under today and our season does really have to start again next week. We have a run of games now right until the Cambridge fixture, which is the one before the end, against sides that are around us in the table and we have now got to string a series of performances and results together to lift us up to a mid-table spot.”