Since that great day in April earlier this year, when the Oaks clinched promotion to London 1 South after a gruelling game against London Cornish, the majority of us have been able to enjoy a relaxing summer eating ice creams, lounging on beaches and sipping cold alcoholic drinks in pub gardens. 

So spare a thought for the Senior Squad who, after a brief time away from the rugby field, were back in training on July 3rd and have been undertaking gruelling fitness sessions three times a week at Sevenoaks School and Knole Park under the watchful eye of Connor Browne and Jonny Short.

It will be Browne’s fourth pre-season with the Mighty Oaks, having been initially recommended to the Club by new Head Coach Adam Bowman.  Browne is the Head of Strength and Conditioning for Essex Cricket having previously worked at Wasps and also runs his own performance business, Tenax Performance, which aims to help individuals to achieve their physique and sports performance goals. 

           Connor Browne is the Head of Strength and                           Conditioning for Essex Cricket Club

          Connor Browne is the Head of Strength and                           Conditioning for Essex Cricket Club

The Oaks faithful will be delighted to see the return of Short, who has graduated through the Clubs youth system and played for the 1st team with such aplomb before heading to Loughborough University, where he studied Sports Science and also representing the Loughborough First XV in the National Leagues.  He also now runs his own Strength and Conditioning company and works locally in Tunbridge Wells.

Speaking of pre-season, Browne said ‘I’ve always enjoyed my time coaching at Oaks – the lads are good fun, and undoubtedly this has been the hardest I’ve seen  the squad work since I’ve been involved.  We ensure that the guys are always doing rugby specific work and not just running endless laps of a field – it’s important to put the building blocks of strength and fitness for the rest of the season.’

   Jonny Short on the attack during      his last spell with Oaks before         heading to Loughborugh Uni.

  Jonny Short on the attack during      his last spell with Oaks before         heading to Loughborugh Uni.

On his return to his childhood Club, Short, who will also return on the playing front as well, says ‘I’m really excited to be back at the Oaks.   I’ve also learnt a huge amount from Connor already– working alongside him for the past few weeks has been an extremely beneficial experience and the boys have worked really hard.  I’m also looking forward to putting the blue and gold back on, particularly as a lot of my former Academy and Junior team mates are back also.’ 

The expertise that the two men have brought seems to be taking effect, with Oaks raising their game in the last quarter of their first pre-season fixture at Medway and with three weeks until the new season gets under way, the squad will no doubt be working hard to ensure they are in peak physical condition for the hard 26 game programme.

The Senior Squad continue their pre-season campaign with a trip to Isleworth to Grasshoppers RFC, where they take part in a tournament playing against Reading Abbey, Camberley, High Wycombe and Grasshoppers. 

If you are interested in more information on rugby related fitness or indeed any strength and conditioning work, then please contact Connor (connor.browne@essexcricket.org.uk or Jonny (shortjb@hotmail.co.uk) via email.

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