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Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club reveals Wolfpack players staying on and learn fixtures for 2024/25 National League 2 East season

Three of Bury St Edmunds’ four end-of-season award winners have been confirmed as remaining with Jacob Ford’s side for a 2024/25 season which will begin with back-to-back matches on the road.

The Wolfpack have so far revealed deals have been agreed for 10 members of the squad to remain with them while nine have now been confirmed as leaving the Greene King IPA Haberden.

Players’ Player of the Season George Grigg-Pettitt, Coaches’ Player winner George Loose and Clubman recipient and Algeria international Samir Kharbouch are among those staying on for another campaign.

George Grigg-Pettitt was the Players’ Player of the Season Picture: Mecha Morton
George Grigg-Pettitt was the Players’ Player of the Season Picture: Mecha Morton

Former professional Ben Cooper and locally-raised Ruaraidh Williams, who both came through the ranks at the National League 2 East club, have also been retained.

The other five announced as staying are: Fin McCartney, Tyler Russell, Archie Strath, Joe Collier and Archie Bourne.

Six players had already been confirmed in leaving in captain Matt Bursey, Will Christie and Kodie Drury-Hawkins (all Australia) as well as Ollie Saddleton, Harry Barker and Most Improved Player of the Season winner Harry Simpson with universities beckoning.

Algeria international Samir Kharbouch Picture: Mecha Morton
Algeria international Samir Kharbouch Picture: Mecha Morton

Three other departures have also now been confirmed in Brayden Porteous, Lewis Jeffery and Mike Stanway.

It means a busy period of recruitment is well under way for Ford who is also looking to find an assistant coach and team manager to work alongside him.

Bury St Edmunds, who finished sixth last season – one spot down on the previous term’s club-record fourth tier finish – have also learnt their fixtures for the upcoming campaign, which will begin away to Westcombe Park on September 7.

It will be followed by another away trip, to Henley on September 14, before the incoming new signings get their first taste of a competitive fixture in front of the strong home support at the Haberden when they face Oxford Harlequins on September 21.

Bury St Edmunds award winners George Grigg-Pettitt (main), Samir Kharbouch (top right) and George Loose (bottom right) are all staying on
Bury St Edmunds award winners George Grigg-Pettitt (main), Samir Kharbouch (top right) and George Loose (bottom right) are all staying on

The latter are one of three newly-promoted sides in National League 2 East, alongside fellow regional champions Colchester and Havant, who replace champions Esher and relegated sides North Walsham and Wimbledon.

Bury will host their now-nearest opponents, Colchester, on October 5 while the return to noth Essex will be on January 25.

The pre-Christmas break fixture will see the Wolfpack entertain Henley on December 21 while the curtain will come down on the season with the visit of Westcombe Park on April 26.

IPA 7s returns

Meanwhile, the club are gearing up for the return of their Greene King IPA 7s on Saturday, June 22, which will again provide the finale to the Nirvana Spa Super Sevens Series.

Discounted early bird tickets are available through the club (£7.50 per adult ahead of £10 on the day) until Monday, June 17. Under-6s are free. Limited parking is available on site via pre-booking only and costs £10, via the same link.

Hospitality packages are also available – see club website for more information.

Bury St Edmunds retained (so far): Bourne, Collier, Cooper, Grigg-Pettitt, Kharbouch, Loose, McCartney, Russell, Strath, Williams.

Bury St Edmunds departing: Barker, Bursey, Christie, Drury-Hawkins, Jeffery, Porteous, Saddleton, Simpson, Stanway.