HARWICH & Dovercourt Rugby Club skipper Joe Francis says his side are in confident mood ahead of today’s trip to Ipswich YM.

The Tendring side are itching to get back in action, after a blank weekend last Saturday.

And Francis says he can detect excitement among his players as they prepare for the Eastern Counties League division one contest in Suffolk.

“We’re in good form and the boys are excited,” he said.

“We’ve been running some great moves in training and I can see us creating space and penetration at the tackle area and out wide.

“We’re training well and the team is in confident mood. I can’t wait for the off.”

Francis said Richard Woods will be stepping aside today to accommodate the return of vice-captain Robert Edgar.

“Woods has done an outstanding job and had a real impact in terms of helping turn the team around,” he said.

“He’s a great asset to the club and brings passion and experience whenever called upon.”

Division rivals Mersea Island face a tough fixture away at Swaffham.

The Islanders fell by only a point in the home fixture back in October, losing out 26-25.

Mersea skipper Jon Williams said: “Swaffham is always a difficult place to go and get a reult.

“We only lost by a point against them earlier in the season and we had our chances to win the game.

“If we play to our strengths and keep our discipline then we have a good chance of coming away with the win.”

In London League division two north east, Braintree host South Woodham Ferrers and will be looking to build on last weekend’s 27-17 win against Basildon.

Halstead Templars will be looking to maintain their momentum when they host Mistley seconds in a Suffolk Merit Table division two clash at Courtauld Playing Fields.

A 40-27 win against division two leaders Thurston two weeks ago not only closed the gap between second-place Halstead and the current pacesetters, but showed Templars are serious candidates for promotion this season.

And they know a good display against Mistley tomorrow will only help their cause.

Coach Barry Poulter said: “Winning breeds confidence and we are feeling confident at the moment. That game at Thurston was a really good win for us.

“However, we won’t let the players get over-confident. They need to do the basics right first.”