PROMOTED Wormelow and Monmouth will be looking to make an early impression when they make their debuts in the Worcestershire League Division 2 on Saturday.

The pair, who clinched the top two spots in Division 3 South last season after moving up from the Flint & Cook Marches League, will join Luctonians as the three local teams in the Division 2.

Wormelow held off late challenges from Monmouth and Colwall to clinch the Division 3 South title and are now looking forward to testing themselves in the highest standard of cricket that the club have reached.

"There are no illusions that the season will be easy but we will once again look forward to our local derby with Monmouth," said skipper Chris Powell.

"We expect all of the games to be hard-fought but hope to contest near the top of the table."

Wormelow have added four new players, Ben Owens from Brockhampton, new arrival to the area Danny Fry-Sperring, Jason Fowler (Garnons) and John Tooley (Moccas), to their squad for the new season.

"The new signings have bolstered the squad and, with a thriving youth section, the teams should be able to handle the challenges ahead," said Powell.

Monmouth have signed South African left-arm spinner and middle-order batsman Mark Temple to boost their prospects after winning promotion.

The 29-year-old, who plays in the Boland Premier League in his home country, has previous experience of English conditions after turning out for Barnoldswick in the Ribblesdale League in 2000.

The Welshmen, who will be further strengthened by the return of left-arm seamer Steve Morgan from Penallt, are looking forward to the new challenge.

"We have been training hard at the indoor nets and can't wait for the season to get underway," said Monmouth skipper Dan Head. "It is going to be a learning curve for us because, apart from Wormelow and Luctonians, we have never before met the other teams.

"We realise that the standard of cricket is going to be much higher than we experienced in 2006, but we are confident of springing a few surprises."

Wormelow begin their campaign by hosting newly-relegated Barnards Green while Monmouth and Luctonians must hit the road for their first matches, at Malvern and promoted Oldswinford respectively.