RUGBY: Lions are building on and off the pitch

Lions new scrum-half Tom Aviss in action for Ampthill against Cambridge.

Lions new scrum-half Tom Aviss in action for Ampthill against Cambridge.

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Things are looking up both on and off the pitch down at the Peterborough Lions’ den at Bretton Park.

This week the National League Division Three club made the first of their summer signings and come the new season in September they hope to have brand new changing rooms and stands to seat 250 in place at pitchside.

Andy Moore, Malcolm Larrington and Mike Marjoram, wearing new Lions blazers, are pictured on the site of the club's new changing rooms with  James Brackenbury from construction companny GKL.

Andy Moore, Malcolm Larrington and Mike Marjoram, wearing new Lions blazers, are pictured on the site of the club's new changing rooms with James Brackenbury from construction companny GKL.

Tom Aviss is the new addition and the six-footer comes with a polished pedigree.

The 24 year-old joins the Lions from National League Division One club Ampthill and before that he was playing for Bath University.

But he originates from Wales and played for Pontypool in the Welsh Championship and Tredegar in Welsh League Division One.

“Tom’s a great signing for us,” said Lions chairman Andy Moore. “Hopefully more quality players will follow him into the Lions den before September.

Wade Schoeman is leaving the Lions to join Cambridge.

Wade Schoeman is leaving the Lions to join Cambridge.

“Tom asked several Rugby Development Officers about the Lions and they all gave him a favourable feedback. So that shows we’re heading in the right direction.

“We’ll also be busy improving our facilities during the summer so things are looking good at the moment.”

The Lions also have seven players in the East Midlands squad to face Northumberland in the County Championship on Saturday up at Morpeth Rugby Club and the Lions head coach Darren Fox is the East Midlands assistant coach.

The seven players are De Le Ray Veenendaal, Nico Steenkamp, Adam Barnard, Will Carrington, Ben Howerd, Sam Crooks and Tom Lewis.

“That’s more feathers in our cap,” added Moore, “and I think the inclusion of Tom Lewis is a quite remarkable achievement.

“When you consider he was playing at Thorney just last season, it’s incredible how well he’s come on in such a short space of time. And much of that is down to our coach Foxy.”

Unfortunately the Lions look set to lose Wade Schoeman, their outstanding second row forward from South Africa.

Schoeman was their player of the year when they made their National League debut two seasons ago but unfortunately missed all of the 2015-2016 campaign through injury. But he’s fit again now and fancies giving it a go with Cambridge at National League One level.

“It’s always a shame to lose good players but we’ll never stand in the way of anyone who wants to better themselves,” added Moore. “We hope it works out for him but if it doesn’t, he can always come back.”