GOING into their opening game of the season this Saturday at Wharfedale, Otley will have very much the same team as last season.

With just one departure and three new signings, Otley's director of rugby Charlie Maunders said: "Our goal is to retain the boys we have and try and build a good rugby environment, which includes good players, good people and having some fun."

Prop Lawrence Sanderson has left Otley to join up with fellow National League Two side Huddersfield.

Meanwhile, coming back to Otley is former player, wing full-back Henry Roberts, who has re-joined from National League One outfit Rotherham.

Back row Callum Sanderson has joined the club from Bridlington and Elliot Morgan, has joined Otley from just down the road at Ilkley RFC, where he served as captain last season.

Maunders said: "We've added three quality players to the existing talent we have at the club."

Ilkley head of rugby Rhys Morgan, wished his son, Elliot Morgan, well on his move to Otley.

"Elliot stayed with us last season when a lot of his friends and brother had left. This is a good move for him. He'll be playing a higher grade of rugby and getting paid for it.

"I'm really pleased for him," added Morgan. "There was a lot of pressure on him as captain at Ilkley, but now he can go and be a player at Otley."

Maunders, who admitted that Otley do not have a huge strength in depth, said: "It would be nice to challenge at the top of the table, but last season we checked out with five games to go."

Losing those last five matches saw Otley, who had a good mid-season run of victories, finish seventh in National League Two.

There will be no easy games in the league this season. We've just got to turn up and try to win as many games as we can. Right now, we're focusing on Wharfedale and then we have Huddersfield the week after."

Otley played two pre-season games, a 64-0 whitewashing of Ilkley at Stacks Fields and then a 40-7 thrashing of Bradford & Bingley.

"We've had two pre-season games where we learned a little bit and how we want to play rugby. We also have had a week off before the start of the season for team building."

During that week off, however, Otley's coached travelled to watch Wharfedale take on Rotherham in their final pre-season game last Saturday.

“Several members of Otley's coaching staff were at the game last Saturday watching us,” said Wharfedale coach Jon Feeley, who added: “But right now we’re not focusing too much on the opposition. We’re very much getting our own game play right.”

Feeley said that Rotherham’s big and physical side was a perfect test for this Saturday’s match against Otley.

He said: “Otley are a very heavy and physically demanding group who are direct in their running style."

Otley will take the field at the Avenue at 3pm on Saturday, led out by head coach Tom Casson, forwards coach and player Joe Graham and first team captain Brett Mitchell.

Henry Watson will be the club captain this season.