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Rugby: Lions star Hennings believes side will rise to challenge
7:00am Wednesday 25th April 2012 in Rugby
JACK Hennings says Bournemouth need to be ready for a step up in class next term but he insists: “We will rise to the challenge.”
The back-row bruiser is relishing Lions’ debut National Two South campaign after helping the club achieve title and promotion glory this season.
Hennings, 28, knows what to expect in English rugby’s fourth tier after playing at the level with Henley earlier in his career.
The Ashley Cross-based forward admits every aspect of play will be of an increased standard – but he is confident Lions can make the grade.
Hennings told the Daily Echo: “At first, it is quite a big step up but then once you get into it, it is not bad at all.
“It is very good experience and I think the lads are going to cope well.
“I think we will do very well and go for mid-table or above.
“It is a step up but people have to buy into where we are going and have a bit more of a professional attitude.
“I know none of us get paid but it seems people are still going to have to work a bit more professionally.
“But it will be a good experience for the boys and I am looking forward to it.”
Hennings scored two tries as champions Bournemouth signed off their season in style with a 57-5 away win over Oxford Harlequins in National Three South West on Saturday. An insurance broker by trade, Hennings believes Lions can continue their momentum.
He added: “The players will be bigger, the hits are harder and the skills are better. Everything is just that little bit better, as you would expect.
“There are going to be a few more players coming in that have, potentially, committed to next season.
“We are going to need a bigger squad because there will be more injuries but with the core squad that we have got, I think we will rise to the challenge.”
Meanwhile, Lions are aiming to attract new sponsors as they bid to secure fresh backing for their National League quest.
Anthony Williamson, Bournemouth’s vice-chairman in charge of commercial activities, said: “Promotion is not only a reward for our players, who have performed magnificently throughout the past season, but it is also a big fillip for our loyal sponsors, who will benefit from greatly increased promotional exposure.
“Promotion comes at a price, however, with a big increase in travel expenses, so we very much hope that other companies and organisations will be persuaded to take pride in the Lions.
“Ours is a strictly amateur club, and we’re determined to keep it that way, so every little helps where sponsorship is concerned.”
For further information, contact Anthony Williamson on 07813 670453.