York ready to graft for starting spot
Chris York is getting ready to fight hard for his place in the Ealing Trailfinders starting team when the Greene King IPA Championship 2016-17 season kicks off in September.
Last season the Number 8 captained the team in 13 of his 25 matches, but over the summer former London Scottish Number 8 and captain Mark Bright signed on at Vallis Way, while Mike Macfarlane crossed the River Thames from Rosslyn Park to add further competition to the back row.
“Brighty, he’s come from being a long term member and very good player at London Scottish,” York said. “He’s done an absolute massive job there for them and it’s actually great to have him down because he brings a lot of experience and a lot of things he’s learnt along the way.
“Mike Macfarlane from Rosslyn Park I used to play with in schoolboy rugby back in the day so I know him from that. So they’re two guys I can get a lot of experience and points from.”
York is well aware of the challenge that Ben Ward’s side will face as they aim to improve on their 11th place finish last season.
The former Harlequins and Newcastle Falcons player has been hard at work since the start of pre-season at the beginning of June and is refusing to rest on his laurels after a good debut season in W13.
“One of the things I wanted to work on was my fitness,” he said. “We’re training pretty well at a high intensity and any level or close to that then I’m happy with anything to increase that; just so I can be more consistent in games, do the sort of things I want to do and be in good condition injuries wise because you don’t want to pick any of those up.”
Last season the team needed four matches to claim their first victory, at home to Cornish Pirates after three defeats to Rotherham Titans, London Scottish and Carnegie.
This year Ealing Trailfinders open up against play-off semifinalists Yorkshire Carnegie on Saturday 3 September and then travel to Cornish Pirates on Sunday 11 September.
They return home to face long-time rivals Jersey Reds on Saturday 17 September before they round off the months against London Irish at the Majeski Stadium on Sunday 25 September.
“They are three tough games to go into and win, but we definitely want to get ‘W’s in those games,” York said.
“Everyone wants us to be further up the table and there is a lot to look forward to but a lot to prepare for as well. The work does need to go in.”