ANTHONY O’Riordan is hoping a bumper Mill Road crowd can cheer Colchester Rugby Club to promotion this weekend.

The Blacks play host to Brighton Blues on Saturday, with a place in next season’s London and SE Premier division the prize at stake for the winners.

It promises to be a cracking affair, with Colchester having lost only two of their games in finishing as runners-up in London One North, this season.

They head into their game against their London One South opponents in good heart and Colchester's director of rugby O’Riordan believes home advantage can be crucial for them, as they bid for promotion.

O’Riordan told the Gazette: “It’s an opportunity for people to come and watch and enjoy the spectacle of rugby, even if you’ve not been a Colchester rugby fan in the past.

“It’s quite a special atmosphere and it would be great if people could come along on Saturday and support the boys.

“The preparations have been going very well and we’re really happy with where we are.

“We’ve won all but two of our games this season and we really do feel that being at home can be an advantage to us.”

Colchester have enjoyed an extremely consistent season, with their only two defeats coming against undefeated champions Rochford Hundred.

But London One South has been much more competitive, with Brighton only clinching a play-off spot on the final day of their season after victory over Camberley.

“We’ve managed to get hold of video of Brighton’s games with our contacts within the rugby network,” added O’Riordan.

“We’ve seen the lion’s share of their games from the whole season and we’ve been blessed with an insight of how they play.

“Their pack is very dominant – they’re a good side and they’ve played well all season.

“London South is a different ball game and there’s a different variation, in terms of the games they have played but there’s a danger that you can over-analyse.

“What we’ve done this season has got us to where we want to be and I firmly believe in our ability.”

Colchester host Brighton on Saturday for a place in next season’s London and SE Premier, kick-off 3pm.