KENDAL Rugby club will be returning to action this weekend as they face Carlisle as the new season officially begins.

After repeated delays and much uncertainty since March 2020, competitive rugby finally returns this weekend.

Kendal First XV will be returning to the pitch in the North One West league, after spending the 2019/20 season in the East division.

Kendal will also face off against another team returning to this division, as they travel to Carlisle, who had a season in the Premier division, before immediate relegation back.

This should be a good test for a Kendal team who won both of their pre-season games.

Most of Cumbrian's 2019/20 squad, which finished the 2019/20 season strongly, will be making their return.

They will be joined by a number of new recruits strengthening the squad and adding competition for places.

Newcomers include second row Reece Tomlinson and scrum half James Gough, who both return to the club after time playing elsewhere, and Hugh Davies at prop.

Each team member made an impact in the pre-season friendly fixtures.

The Second XV will start its season at Mint Bridge against Birkenhead Park Wanderers.

Kendal Club Chairman Stephen Green spoke about upcoming season and praised the team for their past two victories in their warm up matches.

"We're quite hopeful for the future and we've got a good squad of players with us this time round.

"We're had a good workout against Moortown in our last warm up game which we won.

"Sadly, we didn't get a game over the past week because we couldn't get an opponent at the time. But we've got one now.

"Our last proper game was all the way back on March 14, 2020, so this is a really exciting time for us to get back into action.

"Carlisle is going to be a tough game but we are ready for it and the rest of the upcoming season.

"After Covid happened our first four games were cancelled, before everything then got shut down.

"We had a competition last year but that was played under restrictions, and after that there was nothing.

"August 7 was when we could start again with our warm up matches and now, we're back in the season.

"It's been such a long time and we know people will feel a bit rusty, and there are a few new rules around kicking the ball into touch, and five metre scrums which will no doubt make a difference, but we are glad to be back in it.

"It's good to get back into local Derby. Carlisle is a local team for us and next week we will face Vale in Lancaster at home.

"So, we've got two good teams to start off with.

"It's exciting to watch live sports and to see the lads running around again.

"You don't realise how different things are until you can't play the game anymore.

"It's been a very long 19 months but Kendal are ready for a return."

Kendal Rugby will play Carlisle away on Saturday.