BRAINTREE Rugby Club have announced an additional warm-up fixture as they prepare for their forthcoming London 3 Essex campaign.

New first team coach Jamie Clarke and skipper Joss Adams have been delighted with the numbers turning up for training in the run up to the new season.

And the duo are hoping their freshly motivated charges go one step further this time around after narrowly missing out on a promotion play-off spot in 2017/18.

The black and ambers begin their pre-season preparations with an evening game against Enfield Ignatian at Beckers Green Road on Friday August 24 (kick-off 7.30pm).

They have now added a second fixture at home to Norfolk-based side Crusaders RFC on Saturday September 1, before kicking off the new London 3 Essex campaign at Millwall the following weekend.

Braintree’s second string, who will compete in Eastern Counties 2 next season, begin their pre-season prep at home to Halstead Templars on Saturday August 25 (kick-off 3pm).

They will then travel across the border into Cambridgeshire to face Sawston in another warm-up game on Saturday September 1, before kicking off their league campaign away to Stowmarket II the following weekend.

With a number of new players joining the club in response to a recent recruitment drive, the black and ambers also hope to get a social third team side out this season and have arranged an away fixture against Ipswich III, on September 1.

Braintree Chair of Selectors David Gilder said: “We’re delighted to have secured some good warm-up games for all three sides and we’re raring to go.

“We’ve had superb numbers turning up for training on Tuesday and Thursday evenings which bodes well for the forthcoming campaign.

“We had more than 50 players turn up a few weeks back which is hugely encouraging as competition for places can only be a good thing.”

The club have also named their main financial backers for the forthcoming 2018/19 season, with Colebrook Offshore Ltd named as main shirt sponsor.

Other shirt sponsors include Edward Parsley Associates, PG Bones Plumbing and Heating Ltd, Prince Recycling Ltd and G + G Gallo Enterprises Ltd.

Short sponsors will be Roland James Estate Agents.

Whatever happens to Braintree over the forthcoming campaign, their shirt will be worn with extra special pride in a faraway corner of Africa.

Club sponsor Steve Bones of PG Bones asked the club if they would be happy to supply some kit for his daughter Molly and her fellow class-mates from Felsted School to donate to local youngsters on their recent school trip to Uganda.

The club were delighted to hand over last year’s under-15s kit which is now being sported by the rugby-mad youngsters of Great Lakes School in Kanungu.

Gilder added: “We were only too happy to hand over some kit for Molly and her schoolmates to give to the new friends they made in Uganda."