Droitwich have benefited from the experience of Worcester Warriors stars Jackson Willison, Josh Adams and Ryan Bower ahead of their RFU Intermediate Cup final against Camberley at Twickenham on Sunday May 6 (3pm).
Centre Willison was part of Droitwich’s coaching team last season when they made their first visit to Twickenham and were beaten by Farnham in the RFU Senior Vase final.
But Wales wing Adams and prop Bower have recently started helping out at Droitwich and their input has been invaluable.
Adams will not be present at Twickenham on Sunday because he has Wales commitments but Willison, who could not attend last year because the final clashed with a Worcester match, and Bower will be there as water boys.
“We are looking good at the moment. Training on Tuesday night went well. Josh, Ryan and Jackson were all up there and everybody looked fantastic,” said Droitwich director of rugby Adam Drew.
“Ryan and Jackson will be with us at Twickenham. They will be our water boys believe it or not. We would have had Josh too but he has a meeting with Warren Gatland on Monday to discuss their summer tour.
“But Jackson, who is moving his family into Bath before going back to New Zealand for a few weeks on Tuesday, and Ryan will be helping us out.”
Drew hopes that the experience of last season’s final will help Droitwich against a Camberley side who have won the London Two South West title this season.
“I’ve seen a little bit of Camberley. They are a smallish club like us. I think their backs are going to be electrifying. They have some quick wings,” Drew said..
“But we are a good team as well. I don’t fear them at all. I’m looking forward to the challenge. Having gone down to Twickenham last year will put is in good stead for this year
“If we play well and lose I will give full credit to Camberley but I think on Sunday we will bring everything to the table.
“It’s a big occasion for both teams. Last year it was 10-10 at half-time and then we let two silly tries in with missed tackles and that’s all it was.
“We’ve learnt a lot from last year. I’ve no doubt Camberley are a good side and that it will be a good game.”
Droitwich’s second Twickenham appearance caps another memorable season for the Hanbury Road club who will be roared on by around 2,000 supporters.
They beat Whitchurch to win the Midlands Intermediate Cup in March, defeated York in the RFU Intermediate Cup semi-finals and were recently crowned Midlands Two West (South) title, their second successive league title.
All of which has come as a surprise to Drew who stepped up from Droitwich’s youth section two years ago after the club had been relegated to Midlands Three West (South).
“I had a three year plan last year which was to finish mid-table this year, second year top four and third year to win it,” Drew said.
“I don’t think anybody could have envisage what we have achieved this year. But all we have ever done is to think about the next game in front of us.
“We haven’t worried about Evesham or Malvern, just the team we play the next Saturday.
“We’ve had good numbers at training which helps when you are building your side up because you can work your moves, do your line outs and your scrummaging practise.
“So we are in good stead for next season. I don’t think we will struggle too much in that league. If we can finish somewhere towards half-way in the first year I would be more than happy with that.
We have played some teams above us anyway. Momentum is with us at the moment. If we don’t release the reins and keep driving I don’t see any reason why we can’t improve. We’ve got great depth to the squad and moving forward there’s every chance we will pull a couple of players in as well and from there we will see where we go. “
The only disruptions Droitwich have suffered in the build-up to the final are injuries to wing Phil Shore (neck), centre Brad Cook (knee) and full-back Luke Penn (hamstring) which means they will miss out at Twickenham.
“It’s hugely disappointing for them. You don’t get many opportunities to play at Twickenham so it’s unfortunate they have had these injuries at this particular time,” said Drew.