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Tonbridge Juddians RFC

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Five 'new' trips for N2S season 2018-19

25th May 2018

We are already looking ahead to an exciting season in National 2 South and whilst we wait for the fistures to be announced we felt like taking a look at the 5 new Clubs we face in 2018-19

The TJ supporters enjoyed the squad's debut in N2S last season and put some miles on the clock. Hopefully a few more will look to travel as it's well worth the effort if you plan ahead.

Lessons learned can be reapplied and errors kept to a minimum - pretty similar to what goes on on the pitch really

And N2S stats tell us (apparently) that 75% of Clubs who are promoted go straight back down. TJs bucked that trend last season finishing 6th on debut. Four of the following five (not OAs) will be working hard to follow suit.

Barnes   Twitter @BarnesRugby

Another one to yo yo a little as they were in N2S before but return as London & SE Premier champions this time

An hour and a half by car and just under 50 miles at Queen Elizabeth Walk, London SW13 0DG but this is one where you really should let the train take the strain.

We’ve visited before and the Barnes Trail is one to be enjoyed by the travelling TJ with an area teeming with ‘nice’ pubs and refreshment.

Just a short train ride to Barnes Bridge and then roughly a mile walk to the Club and a bit more to the ground and numerous stops en route (nearly missed KO last time!)

They play in Green and Gold hoops and whilst the ground is perhaps as impressive as some and support a little sparser they more than make up for it with a friendly atmosphere and a welcoming and slightly quirky clubhouse 

Birmingham & Solihull   @BSBeesRugby

Champions of Midlands Premier last season losing just 3 games and finishing 11 points clear of second place Peterborough Lions. Once in National 2 North but relegated in 2015 so three seasons at N3 level as they regrouped it seems.

Just under a 3hr (150 mile) road trip and just off Junction 3 of the M42 motorway on Forshaw Heath Lane, Portway (Post Code B94 5LH for SatNav)

They wear a snazzy Black kit with flashes of red and gold – the player to watch it seems is Max Rodman at fly half who runs an exciting back line

Mark Regan was guest speaker at their end of season awards night so plenty to chat about when we meet

Dings Crusaders   @DingsCrusaders

Champions of SW Premier 17 points clear of second placed Bournemouth even though they lost 6 times, only once at home. They have been in N2S before of course but were relegated in 2015 and narrowly missed out on a play off promotion in 2017

Just under another 3hr (150 mile) road trip round the M25 and down the M4 and another Bristolian outfit along with Old Reds and Clifton. They have an impressive new ground/facility (see picture) at Shaftesbury Park, Frenchay, Bristol BS16 1LG

Another team to favour a Black kit and guess what, they had Zinzan Brooke as their end of season guest so again plenty to chat about when we meet

Premiership clubs Bath and Bristol are nearby and with Friday night games often on offer this could be a fertile area for a longer trip than usual this season

Guernsey   @GuernseyRFC

Familiar faces from our N3 days of course and they came up as N3L&SE runners up behind Barnes last season, missing out on the title by just a point

Don’t worry, you won’t be driving as they are offshore in case you did not realise. So it’s a quick plane flight to the Island for this one

I’ve never been to the ground as the debut encounter was cancelled but we spent an eventful two days and long nights on the Island, which was ‘nice’

Green and White hoops and a squad who have been aiming for N2 for a few seasons – will be interesting to see how they go now they have made it

Old Albanian   @Old_AlbanianRFC

Relegated from National 1 last season but they have been in N2S before so a familiar face for some. Intent on bouncing straight back up to National 1 with facilities to match it seems

Just under 2hr (70 mile) road trip and this time through the Dartford Tunnel - 160 Harpenden Rd, St Albans AL3 6BB

Smart blue red and gold kit may make them seem quicker and smaller but don’t be deceived

St Albans – great place to spend some time in as lots of pubs if my memory serves me right after our trip to Luton (via Harpenden) a few seasons back

So a fantastic five away trips to consider with something for everyone as we can travel by planes, trains and automobiles once again

We'll take a look at the remaining Clubs over the coming weeks as soon as the fixtures appear

So get that diary out and start planning asap

And don't forget you can follow everything N2S at @Nat2S as well as @TJRFC of course

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