RUGBY: It is derby day in Regional One South East this weekend as Westcliff host Rochford Hundred at the Gables.

The two teams were relegated alongside each other from National League Two East last season.

And Westcliff’s head coach Jimmy Rea cannot wait for his first local derby in charge.

“I can’t wait, everyone loves a derby game,” said Rea.

“It’s not just about the players it’s about two clubs playing a great sport and having a great competition.

“The fact that we are a stone’s throw apart and a lot of the lads grew up and played rugby together adds to the hype and enjoyment of the day.”

However, Westcliff will be determined to win in a bid to get themselves moving in the right direction once again.

The team were unable to taste victory last season and have started the current campaign with back to back defeats.

But Rea is eager to get Westcliff back on track this term.

“The target is to stabilise ourselves,” said Rea.

“After two years of fighting against all odds we have a huge task of reforming not only on the pitch but off the pitch too.

“We have evolved our culture based on this, with a player led senior leadership team, to put more onus on the players.

“As coaches we can’t change what happens in a game.

“All we can do is prepare the lads for the game and it’s down to them to react on the pitch.”

Rochford started the season with a 37-31 victory at Old Northamptonians but were beaten 55-31 by Tring last time out.

And head coach Danny Cleare wants to see a strong reaction from his side.

“To be honest I think this is the perfect game for us after last week’s result,” said Cleare.

“When you don’t perform and lose in the manner we did I think it’s important you follow it up with a big performance and if players can’t get themselves up for a local derby then they’re playing the wrong sport.

“So I fully expect a big week’s training and a much improved performance on Saturday.”

But Cleare is also expecting a tough contest.

“I think looking at their personnel their strengths are their backs and they have plenty of threats there,” said Cleare.

“They also have a pretty dynamic back row so I fully expect Westcliff to look to play a fast paced game and look to play from deep.”

Elsewhere this weekend, Southend Saxons head to Thurrock in Regional Two Anglia.

Southend are fifth currently in the standings while Thurrock are sixth, also on seven points after two games.