WHAT an unbelievable start to life in National One it was for Rams RFC.

The Old Bath Road-based side travelled down to Cambridge and picked up a bonus-point win in their first ever game in the third tier, but that only really tells half the story.

Having established a 36-18 lead with 20 minutes remaining, Seb Reynolds' men had to repel a furious comeback which saw the hosts close the gap to just four points with 90 seconds remaining, but they held their nerve and got the job done.

To show that heart and determination at the death is a very encouraging sign for Rams, along with the fact they ran in five tries away from home.

Two of those came from new signing Henry Bird – and it shows the strength in depth the club have built up that players of the quality of Jak Rossiter, Joe Duffelen, Miles Lloyd, Steve Bryant, Colin Thompson and Josh Collis were playing for the club's Titans.

Injuries are always likely to hit at some stage, but they were all first-team regulars last year and it shows there is real competition for places at the club.

It will be a momentous day on Saturday when Rams host their first home National One clash against Birmingham Molesey.

Meanwhile, my boys Reading begin their Southern Counties North campaign with a tough trip to Marlow.

They only just missed out on a play-off spot last year – although we did beat them in the last game of the season. Fingers crossed we can repeat the trick.

Elsewhere, Reading Abbey – who finished seventh to our eighth last year – get underway at High Wycombe.

Berkshire Shire Hall are playing in Berks/Bucks & Oxon Two South this season, and they get underway with a home game against Crowthorne, who return to league action after a year away.

Lastly, London Irish play their first and only pre-season game when they visit Declan Kidney's former club Munster tomorrow night.

With players gearing up for the World Cup, it's an experimental side, but it will be interesting in particular to see how Australian international Curtis Rona gets on.