SOUTHEND Saxons head into tomorrow’s London One North clash with Shelford boosted by director of rugby Josh Ward’s decision to sign a new deal.

Ward has penned a two year contract at Warners Bridge to keep him at the club until 2021.

And co-chairman David Short is delighted Ward has agreed to extend his stay.

“The progress with the Saxons squad and the playing side of the club as a whole and the spirit Josh has engendered throughout the cub since his original appointment has been uplifting and augers well for the future,” said Short.

“Josh’s new contract shows that Josh and Southend RFC are committed to the future of the club over the next few years.”

Southend are currently fourth in the standings.

And skipper Ian Morrison is also pleased Ward will be staying put.

“Everyone involved with the club will echo the positive impact he has had on the club as a whole and not just within the first team,” said Morrison.

“Josh is an ambitious and passionate individual which helps to push everyone involved to be better so certainly it’s very welcome news.”

Southend have triumphed in their last two games. But Morrison is expecting a tough test against 11th placed Shelford tomorrow.

“The boys are raring to go and we are looking to keep the momentum going from the previous two performances,” said Morrison.

“I expect Shelford to be a tricky encounter and one we will need to start well.

“We have made it very clear where we as a club want to be but it starts again against Shelford and that’s as far as our focus is right now.”

>Thurrock host KCS Old Boys in London One South tomorrow while South Woodham Ferrers head to Diss in London Two North East. In London Three Essex, Basildon head to Harlow while in Essex One Canvey Island are at Millwall and Billericay are at Writtle.