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Ean Griffiths and Mike Ayrton commit to Cambridge Rugby Club for next season

By Mark Taylormark.taylor@iliffemedia.co.uk

Ean Griffiths in action for Cambridge. Picture: Chris Fell
Ean Griffiths in action for Cambridge. Picture: Chris Fell

Hooker targets development at Volac Park

Cambridge co-captain Mike Ayrton. Picture: Chris Fell
Cambridge co-captain Mike Ayrton. Picture: Chris Fell

Ean Griffiths has described committing his future to Cambridge Rugby Club for next season as a “no-brainer”.

The 29-year-old hooker and co-captain Mike Ayrton have been announced as the first two players to pledge their futures to the club for the 2018-19 campaign, ahead of the arrival of new head coach Richie Williams.

Griffiths joined Cambridge in 2012, and has made 121 appearances, scoring 21 tries in the process; while 26-year-old Ayrton moved to Volac Park in 2009, and has made 181 appearances, scoring 64 tries.

“It was always going to be a no-brainer,” said Griffiths of his decision to re-sign. “I love the club, I love what it’s about and what it stands for.

“I want to see this club sit in a position where it deserves to be, which is at the top end of National One at least and then maybe in the future pushing for higher honours.

“I love the club and there was only really one option for me for next season.”

Despite a 25-15 home defeat to Darlington Mowden Park last Saturday leaving Cambridge 11th in the National League One table, Griffiths believes there is plenty of potential in the squad.

“I definitely see Cambridge Rugby Club as a top three club in National One and I think that’s being realistic with the talent we’ve got,” he said.

“It’s about getting that right balance to being a successful team and a consistent team. This year, we’ve been very up and down at times.

“On our day we can take down top three teams and then on other days we’ve struggled a bit more against teams that shouldn’t be in the same ball park as us. It’s striving for that consistency to be a top-three team that is most important.

“We set our target this year to be top six, we’re not sitting there but it’s a pretty congested table. At the moment, for us it’s about getting the wins under our belt and climbing that table and making sure we put ourselves in a position to build from for next season.”

And he is looking forward to being co-captain again with Ayrton.

“We’ve very much different personalities that complement each other,” said Griffiths.

“He’s not as loud on the pitch, but he’s got experience and knows what to do. A real positive of the season is collaborating with Mikey and using his best qualities and combining with mine to try to get the team to be successful.

“I look forward to doing something similar next year and working with Richie to try to get the best out of this team that we know has so much potential.”

Williams was delighted to put the first pieces of his Cambridge puzzle together.

“Mike and Ean have been integral to the club’s development and I am really looking forward to working with them next season,” he said.

“They have impressed me with their performances and positive influence on the team, on and off the pitch, and I am excited to support their growth and development as players and leaders next season.”


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