NESTLE Rowntree RUFC have announced that they will field a seconds team next season for the first time in two decades.

Thanks to a successful recruitment drive over the past few years the Lions - as Trees' second-string side is known - will enter into the Yorkshire’s Merit League next season.

Along with the first team, who play at Yorkshire Four level, the Lions will kick off next season in the first week of September.

Chairman James Baldwin said: “We’re absolutely delighted that we are heading into the new season with two teams.

"It has been a long and hard journey, especially throughout the pandemic, in pushing the club forward.

"However, despite these challenges, we have successfully developed a culture welcoming to new as well as existing players.

"This in turn has meant we now are regularly training with around 45 players each week, which is fantastic."

For the past year, the club has run a 'rugby 4 all' initiative, which aims to encourage players of all abilities to get involved in rugby union.

Trees are hoping that having a second team will further boost participation at the club, widening the pool for those who want to to compete on matchdays and providing a pathway to the first team.

The club is on the look-out for new players regardless of skill, ability or previous experience. Training sessions are held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

Anyone interested should phone Jamie Howard on 07725033305, email rowntreesrugby@gmail.com or visit nestlerowntreerufc.co.uk.