BRIDPORT are celebrating promotion back to Dorset & Wilts One South.

With Salisbury Thirds, who finished second in the league this season unable to be promoted to Dorset & Wilts One South as their second team are already in hat division, the Blues' third position ensured that they gained promotion to along with New Milton Seconds.

A club spokesman said: "This has been very well received with all the players and team coach looking forward to what will be a challenging 2017/18 season.

"While we will face many difficult matches the key element is that regular rugby should be guaranteed against first and second-team sides.

"This is unlike this season where the club lost five matches due to teams cancelling."

Bridport will be up against first teams from club such as Dorchester, Weymouth & Portland, Dorset Dockers and Oakmeadians and second teams from Swanage & Wareham and Wimborne and North Dorset.

Meanwhile, Julian Hussey, the retiring juniors' chairman said at the club’s recent AGM that a Colts team will play next season and with a strong under-16 side, some pictured here with Australian international Justin Harrison at the recent awards dinner, the future support for the first XV will be coming through to help sustain their programme in the higher league.

The Blues will open their account against North Dorset Seconds on Saturday, September 9.

n Daragh McLoughlin was elected as next season's first XV captain replacing Tom Gamwell at the club's AGM.

President Peter Brook also thanked Gamwell for his excellent leadership over the last two seasons.