DEVIZES skipper Josh Gould is hoping the fine margins can work in favour of his side as they aim to make an impact in Southern Counties South this season.

The Saddlebacks finished in sixth position last term but were frustrated to challenge curtailed by five draws as county rivals Marlborough and Trowbridge both came ahead of them in the pecking order.

Gould is also hoping the inconsistency which saw the London Road outfit defeat title chaser Swanage & Wareham on the road, but lose to Walcot and Blandford can be a thing of the past as they embark on a seventh season with head coach John Kimberley at the helm.

Gould said: “The season just gone was a steep learning curve, as we didn’t finish as high as we would have liked but we are excited for the season to come with new teams coming into the league which brings new challenges for us as a club.

“We are looking forward to facing those challenges with a fitter and stronger team after a hard and productive pre-season. Obviously we want to finish higher in the league than we did last year and be a strong contender for the county cup.”

The return of back row Rhys Harries from university and new recruits Jack Mason and Richard Burton have bolstered the Saddlebacks’ cause, with Yeovil the opening-day visitors on Saturday.

The club’s second XV are led by skipper Charlie Paget for their Dorset & Wilts Two North campaign, supported by former Dorset & Wilts referee Bill Gould as team manager, while Craig Hurcombe leads the third team, with a captain still to be announced after a neck injury forced Mark Shepherd to step back from his commitments.

Marlborough kick off their campaign at home to Walcot with former Tonga World Cup player Elisi Vunipola leading his first campaign as director of rugby.

Corsham arrive in Southern Counties South after a campaign that saw them crowned Dorset & Wilts One North champions and travel to Frome for their opener, In Dorset & Wilts One North campaign as Pewsey Vale host Minety, while in Two North, Calne host county rivals Westbury and Sutton Benger go to Bath side Combe Down 2nd.