Scrum-half Simon Pierce eager to lift Southend Rugby Club

Echo: Simon Pierce (centre) - eager to impress for Southend Simon Pierce (centre) - eager to impress for Southend

SWEDISH scrum half Simon Pierce is eager to help Southend get back to winning when they host Bishop’s Stortford in National Two South this weekend.

The Seasiders suffered a third successive defeat for the first time this season when they were beaten 17-14 at Ampthill last weekend.

And 19-year-old Pierce, who made his Southend debut as a second half substitute in the reversem now wants Chris Green’s team to get back to winning ways at Warners Bridge tomorrow.

“I’m expecting it to be a difficult game as it’s a game between two sides that are quite close together and hopefully the conditions won’t be too bad,” said Pierce.

“If they’re not then we will be able to play some good play and, most importantly, get the win we all want.”

Pierce arrived at Southend to fill the void left by another Swedish international scrum half, Lee Sandberg.

The teenager has played alongside Seasiders’ coach Daniel Legge while in action for his country.

And that also led to his arrival in Essex.

“Through playing with Daniel Legge for Sweden he asked me if I wanted to come over and play rugby for Southend because they needed someone in my position,” said Pierce.

“I’m temporarily staying with his parents and they’ve been extremely hospitable putting up with me so I’m enjoying my time here so far and the club have been very good to me.”

Pierce had previously been playing for University College Cork in Ireland up until Christmas and before then he was with the Stockholm Exiles back in Sweden.

But he was delighted to make his Southend debut last weekend and immediately noticed a step up in the standard of play.

“This level is probably more physical than I’ve played before and is a bit quicker as well,” said Pierce.

“It was good to get a few minutes at Ampthill though and it was a good game too.

“It was disappointing that we lost as we were up by a good points before they got a few tries out of nothing.

“We also had a few missed opportunities but hopefully we can do better tomorrow and I’ll get more game time this week too.”

Pierce will then be aiming to make the most of the opportunity and continue his improvement as a player.

“I’m hoping to get better and develop my game while also contributing to Southend ending the season on a high,” said Pierce.

“I’m also looking forward to meeting new people and enjoying my English experience.”

Pierce will do battle with Harry Branch for a starting slot at scrum half while influential back row Daniel Legge and prop forward Michael Guess are both back in contention after recovering from recent injuries.

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