West London’s eyes will be at the Richmond Athletic Ground this Saturday as Richmond host their ground sharers London Scottish in the Greene King IPA Championship season opener.

Training camps complete, new coach’s ideas aired, and pre-season matches finished, summer preparations will be put to the test as the both clubs look to claim early season bragging rights.

Following their ninth-place finish last season new Richmond captain Cameron Mitchell was clear when discussing the aims for the season.

“We want to keep improving, which is quite an obvious one, we were happy with how we performed last year, and I think we won a few games that we weren’t expected to win, so we just want to build on that and try and finish as high as we possibly can.”

Pointing to the long, gruelling pre-season he and his team mates were put through by strength and conditioning coaches Ian Taplin and Tom Farrows going back to June, the outside centre claims it’s the best pre-season they’ve had and that they’re ready for Scottish’s visit to the RAG.

“It’s always a big battle against Scottish, we always feel it’s the biggest game of the season, so it’s great it’s the first game, we’re chomping at the bit.

“I love the atmosphere at the club and what the Scottish game brings, it’s going to be a very quick physical game, and hopefully we can get the right result at the end of it.”

Richmond suffered a narrow 18-12 defeat at the hands of Saracens in their last game of pre-season, but Mitchell insists the result will have no bearing on Saturday’s match as his attention turns to producing a successful start to the campaign.

“The first nine weeks there’s no breaks, and that really can make the foundation for a good season or certainly a more challenging season, so we’ve got to come out firing in the first nine, get some results, some bonus points and go from there.

“We’ve prepared well, we do everything we possibly can as a team to get us in a good position to perform, and now just looking forward to getting out on the pitch.”