BEN Lloyd will be hoping practice makes perfect when Southend Saxons start their new season this weekend.

Southend have enjoyed a productive pre-season campaign.

And Lloyd, who signed for Saxons earlier this summer, wants the good run to continue when Josh Ward’s side face Old Haberdashers in their opening London One North clash of the campaign.

“We’ve had a really good pre-season and we’re really happy with the way it’s gone but we know it counts for little really and Saturday is the start of the serious stuff,” said the fly-half.

“We had a good win against Bury St Edmunds in pre-season and then we had an inter-club game which was good because we were able to establish patterns of play and a few other things.

“It was really productive and we have to be encouraged by how things have been coming together but it’s Saturday that matters most and we want to get off to a good start.”

Southend finished sixth in the standings last season.

But Lloyd, who came to Saxons from Hertford, is confident the team can feature far higher this time around.

“I haven’t come here to lose games and we’ll go into every game looking to win it,” said Lloyd.

“That’s my mentality and if we can do that then we’ll be up there.

“It’s obviously a competitive league but if you go through the teams I don’t think there is one you can say is head and shoulders above us.

“So we’re feeling confident and can’t wait to get started.

“We’ve had this date in the diary for quite some time and we’re pleased it’s finally here.”

Lloyd is one of several new signings pushing to make his debut this weekend with Tom Richards, Simon Wasley, Connor Cooper and Ben Law also in line to feature for the first time.

But Lloyd will not be focusing too much on the opposition.

“We will be respectful of Old Haberdashers and I’m sure they will have similar aims to ourselves but we’ll be focusing on what we do,” said Lloyd.

“If we get what we do right then we’ll have a great chance of winning.

“It’s going to be exciting and hopefully there will be a good crowd there to cheer us on too.”

And Saxons’ director of rugby Josh Ward is also hoping Saturday can be the start of a successful season.

“We’re realistic but we’re hugely ambitious too,” said Ward.

“I’m an ambitious person and so are my staff and the players.

“I believe we will take big strides this season to be in the frame to go up.

“That’s certainly the aim of the group.”