Gloucestershire hoping for golden start

Rugby League history will be made on Sunday (March 3) when University of Gloucestershire All Golds host Hemel Stags in their first ever game in the sport’s professional ranks.

The Prince of Wales Stadium, Cheltenham, will play host to the historic clash which sees both clubs aiming to get off to a perfect start as they seek to progress to the latter stages of the competition where they could test their wits against some of the sport’s oldest and most established teams.

“It’s definitely a very exciting time for the club to be going into competitive action this weekend,” said Gloucestershire All Golds player Mike Stewart.

“This is history in the making for the town, for the club and for the sport. We are determined to prove that we are worthy of our place in the league and the cup and prove our credibility as a club.

“Some people in the heartlands may not think we should be in the competition but we’re confident we can prove them wrong in the coming weeks.”

With a core group of players drawn from the university’s successful 2013 University Premier League-winning side, the All Golds will go into the Northern Rail campaign in buoyant mood and Scottish-international Stewart believes that success has been a huge boost for the players.

“Because we’re a University-owned club a lot of us have been together for a few months already playing in that competition,” he said. “We have a great team spirit and the success in that competition has been a real boost for the players.

“We’ve had some very tough training sessions during the past few months as well and the guys who are part of the university side will have plenty of match experience, so we won’t be going in to the season cold.

“We don’t think that progression from the group stages is beyond us. We have very high ambitions and we’re determined to make the biggest impact we can.

“The fairytale of the All Golds is a fantastic story so far and the next chapter begins this weekend.”

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