Rugby league is proving a hit with Saltash players keen for summer rugby

Saltash Essayons in their new shirts. They are still looking to find a sponsor for shorts and socks (picture via Saltash Essayons)

AFTER a memorable season that saw them win promotion and appear at Twickenham, a host of Saltash RFC players are now trying their hand at rugby league.

Saltash Essayons are one of two new teams in this year’s rugby league South West Premier Division.

They have taken the place of Plymouth Titans, who had been one of the founding members of the league before suffering problems last season.

New Saltash first and second team captains Lewis Wells and Axel Nicks felt they could make a go of the 13-man game over the Tamar. Nicks had been involved with the Titans, while Cornwall back-row forward Wells had played a high level of rugby league in the army.

“The aim was to keep Saltash players going in the off season and to introduce them into a new style of no-nonsense rugby,” said Wells. “Doing this has also allowed us to integrate some of the youth players of Saltash to play some men’s rugby.

“Since forming the team and starting training we have realised how desperate the area was for a rugby league side.”

The club have been getting more than 30 players training regularly at Moorlands Lane.

“Fortunately we have had the backing and support of Saltash RFC with the use of their facilities and pitch,” said Wells.

The Essayons are the second rugby league team in Cornwall, following in the footsteps of the Cornish Rebels.

Saltash look like they could be a challenger to their county rivals after the opening two matches of the season.

The Rebels sit top of the table having won both their opening games, but Saltash are second having beaten Teignbridge Trojans 52-40 at Newton Abbot last weekend and just narrowly lost 22-20 away to Tarka Storm in their opening game.

The Essayons have attracted a bit of interest on social media this week after a number of players showed off their bums and legs to try and find a sponsor for some shorts and socks.

“We have had our first strip (top half) kindly sponsored by Bidfood,” said Wells. “But with the influx of players and the already outstanding efforts of the players making a great start in the league, we are desperate for some more backing in regards to sponsors to ensure we turn out each week with all the kit required.”

The club are set to play their first home game on June 23 when they are a planning a family day and barbecue.

For more information on the club or if any companies are interested in sponsoring them, they can find information on their Facebook page HERE. 

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