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Bury St Edmunds announce 'exciting' new arrival on eve of new National League 2 South campaign

Bury St Edmunds begin their 2018/19 campaign in National League 2 South at home on Saturday with an ‘exciting’ new arrival.

GOOD CROWD: The Haberden will be packed on Saturday for Bury’s opener
GOOD CROWD: The Haberden will be packed on Saturday for Bury’s opener

Ben Leng, 22, has signed on the dotted line for a season at The GK IPA Haberden, after spending the last two months on trial at Championship side Doncaster Knights.

The inside centre from Taranaki, New Zealand, failed to impress at the club two levels higher than the Wolfpack.

But ‘their loss is our gain’, according to the club’s director of rugby Jon Curry, who is eagerly awaiting the start of the season.

“There’s always high hopes at the start of the season,” he said. “But in my view this is a much stronger squad to last year – and they have gelled very well together.

“I’m really looking forward to getting going. Ben’s arrival is great; we’ve been waiting two months to see if he’d be with us or Doncaster.

“Their loss is our gain as he’s another very good player to add to our squad and we are very excited to have signed him.”

Leng will likely be in action for the first time on Saturday, as the Wolfpack host Henley Hawks (3pm) in their season opener.

Ollie Watson, he said, will be this season’s captain as the openside flanker returns to the game after spending most of last season injured.

He will join more than 20 new players at Bury, with the club having significantly overhauled the team during the summer.

But the departure of a number of last season’s first team allowed Curry to have a hand in recruitment, with his arrival precipitating a more local approach. Of the now 39-strong squad, 23 players are considered local and only five from abroad.

Curry said: “We think this is the way for the club to continue to develop now.

“We’re the biggest club in the area and we should be developing local talent, as well as trying to keep the core of the squad together from year to year. Starting from scratch each season is tough.

“The players have gelled together so well in pre-season, I really can’t wait to see what they can do on Saturday.

“Both teams will know, to some extent, what to expect from each other – they will have a good pack of forwards and a good number 10 and so we will look to stop them getting forward dominance.”

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