Hooker Matt Cross has made a sensational return to Thornton Heath after five seasons in Australia as Streatham-Croydon sign ten new players for the forthcoming Surrey 3 season.
Fly-half Chris Geary joins from Hampshire 1 side New Milton, Wing Andy Venables from Nottingham Uni and lock Filippo Scaglia from Milan side Rugby Cernusco. Francis Kulubya, an under-18 international with Kenya, will add further competition to places on the wing, but can also play centre and full-back.
In what has been one of Streatham’s biggest ever recruitment drives, the club has also signed Gareth Baker, Garry Griffin and South African Leareil Buys, who will be making the transition from touch rugby of Clapham Common. Swiss centre Yannick Stucki has also been training with the club and will be available for September, as has Leo Zelenkevich, the Gosforth lock who may be able to play on loan from the club he plays for whilst at university in Newcastle.
Cross was an integral member of the side from 2002-05, when he made the move to the Melbourne club Powerhouse. Most of his appearances there have been at prop, and Streatham will find his versatility in the front row a great asset. Meanwhile Venables, who has recently moved to the area, was a product of the Chobham under-18s side and will provide competition for the likes of Andy Daniels, Aaron Brown and Kirk Chacha.
Geary’s signing looks to be a great boost to Streatham, as out and out fly-halves have been hard to come by since Will Manns left in 2009. At 23 there is lots of time for him to settle into the side and develop with the club as they look to move up towards the London leagues.
Of further encouragement is the number of players who are at pre-season training who have never played the game before. They can take inspiration from the dynamic Pole Patryk Kowalski, now a first team regular but until four years ago had never touched a rugby ball before.
If you are interested in playing for Streatham-Croydon, email email@example.com.