BASINGSTOKE RFC’s Blue Squad will be sporting new kits this season thanks to a £5,000 sponsorship deal with Redrow.

The builders of new homes are looking to build a excellent partnership with the teams which cover the community element of the club.

The Blue Squad is made up of the Griffins, Cavaliers and fifth team and includes players new to the game, veterans nearing the end of their career and players looking for an occasional game.

It is also for the more established player who is not looking for first team rugby, but still want to play a good level.

The blue squad compete across the Wessex region in the Hampshire Merit Leagues one, two and three.

The Blue Squad manager Stewart Joyce said: “Our three teams that make up the blue squad are grateful to Redrow for their generosity, which has enabled us to purchase new kits for the new season which starts in September.

“The squad structure is a great way of growing new talent and helping players get the match experience they need to progress.”

John Allan, managing director of Camberley-based Redrow Homes (Southern Counties), said: “At Redrow we get a kick out of supporting local sports clubs and so we were keen to team up with Basingstoke Rugby Club. We wish the blue squad the best of luck for the season ahead.”

The Blue Squad, compromising a mix of third fourth and fifth team players, beat visiting Kingsclere 65- 24 in a pre-season friendly on Saturday.

Kingsclere scored first, but this just served to galvanise Basingstoke who ran in a series of tries from Jason Jacob, Joe Newbold (2) and Scott Barr.

Both sides were making defensive errors, but the ’Stoke forwards were putting in a huge shift, securing ball in the loose, line out and the scrum.

A new front row of Paul Watts, Tom Barnes and Josh Pimm caused real problems for Kingsclere, with Barnes taking almost every scrum.

The nine 10 combination of Brent Evans and Steve Love were outstanding in driving Basingstoke on with real intent, using slow ball options to stretch Kingsclere and then allowing ball out wide to the impressive ’Stoke back line to finish off.

Further scores came from Brent Evans, Sion Hughes, Paul Watts, Jonah Wright and Sean Pritchard.