NORTHWICH Rugby Club squad has been bolstered by the recruitment of two of the regions most promising young players.

Sale Sharks Academy hooker Charlie Bancroft has returned to the club that started him as an Under 9 and is joined by his cousin utility back Keelan Clarke who was recently at Warrington Wolves Academy.

Both are from Weaverham and both left Northwich to join the junior section at Warrington Rugby Union Club before switching codes and playing for Crosfields and Woolston Rovers. Keelan then joined Warrington Wolves whilst Charlie had dual registration with Sale Sharks.

Charlie and Keelan also played for all Cheshire County age groups and although both are 18 they will provide badly needed pace and skills having learnt their trade at senior national club academies.

Keelan will be joining his elder brother Kyle who has been a first team squad member for a couple of seasons now.

Northwich squad will be further bolstered as potential recruits arrive in the next couple of weeks from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.

Northwich Rugby Club received double boost this week when returning rejuvenated Director of Rugby Martin Poste announced that stand off Nick Baldwin had been appointed 1st XV captain for the forthcoming campaign in National League 5 and former captain Chris Dale had accepted an invitation to be part of his coaching team.

Nick, originally from Darlington Rugby Club, joined Otley Rugby Club in his late teens before moving to Northwich in 2017. His goalkicking accuracy helped Northwich massively when they gained promotion to the National Leagues but suffered a serious dislocation to his shoulder in the opening game of last season at Preston Grasshoppers.

He had surgery to secure the shoulder and Northwich struggled without their talisman half back for the remainder of the season but is near to regaining full fitness. His experience of playing national Rugby at Otley will prove invaluable as his adopted club attempt to consolidate themselves at Level 5 of the National League.

Nick said “I’m deeply honoured to be appointed Northwich Rugby Club Captain for the forthcoming season and I am determined to make up for the disappointment of last season by helping the new look squad under Postie maintain their league status.”

Meanwhile, Postie will have the experience and expertise of former England Under 18’s skipper Chris Dale to help him as Forwards Coach alongside Head Coach and his own cousin, Sam Naylor.

Chris joined Leeds Tykes Rugby Union Club Academy whilst captaining his country and has played for Sheffield under Postie, as well as having a spell at New Brighton before returning to his hometown club Northwich.

It was Chris who was instrumental in enticing Postie to Northwich. Postie said “I knew Chris from his time at Sheffield and he was a brilliant committed player so I am delighted that he has accepted my invitation for him to join me in what we feel will be a much better future for the club.”

Northwich will play a friendly at home against Ruthin on Saturday, August 20.