LUCTONIANS head coach Ryan Watkins says a restructuring of the adult male game will allow youngsters the chance to learn without relegation pressure.

The new measures will come into effect from the 2022/23 season and will see the National Two consist of three leagues, an expansion of the current two leagues with a Central Division created.

The size of the leagues will also be capped at 14 teams (rather than the 16 currently) and all teams at a given level will be grouped together geographically to reduce travel times and distance, Luctonians would likely be placed in the new Central Division.

The league season will be shortened to address concerns shared by players around the intensity of the current league structure.

In addition, there will be a protected two-week break over the Christmas period and protected weekend breaks (at points to be determined through the season).

Watkins thinks that the expansion would mean no relegation this coming season giving young players a chance to learn about the level of rugby.

“Including pre-season at the moment we can play 16 games from the start with no rest weeks,” said Watkins.

“We would be in the central league and there would be a north and south.

“If it goes ahead then there would be no relegation this season.

“That is good as we can blood our young guys without the pressure of having to get things right.

“There is always an expectation playing in a Lucs shirt in relation to effort and we’re not taking that away.

“It will allow the young lads to make mistakes and learn from that.”

Their first season back in National League Two North resulted in the season being curtailed due to Covid-19.

The RFU calculated a predicted final league position for sides and Luctonians were given a 13th place finish.

Watkins felt his side deserved to finish higher and will be targetting mid-table this term.

“We came back with the idea to stay in that league, being realistic if we want to go up again we would have to pay a lot of money to players, that’s not something the club wants as they want to keep that community and grassroots aspect,” he added.

“We would like to finish a lot higher (than the eventually 2019/20 table).

“We had yet to visit the bottom two clubs and so should have got more points and maybe finished two or three places higher.

“This year coming back we will hope for a mid-table finish.”

Luctonians are back in training but due to Covid-19 restrictions have been unable to play a competitive games since March 2020.

“We’ve been back training since we’ve been allowed by the Government and overall the fitness of the players isn’t too bad," added Watkins.

“It’s just about getting them match fit again and up to speed.

“Each time we have had the chance to train we’ve had good numbers and the squad is looking similar to 2019 except one or two.

“It’s a bit of the unknown as we don’t know what other clubs will be like or how strong they will be."