Bishop Auckland Rugby Club have started their pre-season training in preparation for another campaign in division three of the Durham and Northumberland League.

With former club captain Mark Macnair in charge of coaching, first XV captain Peter Sayer and vice-captain Peter Gallone are determined to launch a promotion challenge. Several promising colts have graduated to the senior ranks, and Bishops also hope to strengthen their squad by persuading some of their former players to return to the club.

The second XV, under Anthony Hodgson, have a full programme of league fixtures in the Tees Valley Social League, which has become increasingly competitive.

Bishops will continue to run Under-18s and junior rugby on Sunday mornings, with occasional Under-19s fixtures on Saturdays.

Training for all senior players is at West Mills on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7-8.30pm. New players at all levels, with or without experience, will get a warm welcome.