IT’S a busy weekend for our local teams as Reading and Reading Abbey begin their Southern Counties North campaigns, Redingensians look to bounce back after an opening day National Two South defeat and London Irish aim to back-up their stunning Aviva Premiership win against Harlequins.

It was a fantastic start for Exiles with a win at Twickenham and I am sure they will be well pleased with that result. This Saturday they are heading off down the M4 to face champions Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park, and while it will be a tough task, I wish the best of luck to them.

The top local game on Saturday is unquestionably at Old Bath Road where Redingensians Rams welcome London Irish Wild Geese.

A good result would help them dispel the memories of last Saturday’s defeat away to rivals Henley Hawks, where their disappointing line-out work undermined their overall team performance.

Rams completed the double over the Geese last season, so should go into the game in confidence, having won 39-24 at home and 28-13 on their travels.

Following relegation, Reading open their campaign at a High Wycombe team who they lost both home and away to during the 2015/16 campaign.

So there’s plenty of incentive for my boys to do well and to play hard.

I am positive they will want to come away with a win, however, it’s never an easy game at Wycombe and we have a lot of history between our clubs.

But the lads have put in a huge amount of hard graft during pre-season and I am confident it will pay off on the day.

For Abbey, who came down with us, they host the other Berkshire side who dropped out of South West One East – Windsor.

They have a new captain in Will Bevan, who has been a regular first-teamer for several years now, as they aim to improve after a disappointing second half of last season.

His experience will be massively valuable to the young guys coming into the squad from last year’s Colts, as will that of new vice-captain, Will Woodward.