LUCTONIANS head coach Ryan Watkins says he will be looking for more consistency from his team next season.

At one stage, the Kingsland side lost 10 games in a row, resulting in fears that they could drop out of National League 2 North.

A strong end to the campaign eased the nerves, but Watkins knows his team cannot afford too many slumps next season.

And with at in mind, he has been busy adding to his squad.

Centre Ben Barkley and second row Lawrence Breeze have joined from National 3 Midlands side Old Halesonians, while back row Adam Clayton has Championship experience under his belt and joins from Birmingham Solihull.

"This year, there is a lot more emphasis on starting well because the biggest issue last season was consistency," said Watkins.

"Hopefully with the added competition for places, it will stop the boys being complacent and they will go into games with a different dimension.

"But with the experience that we have added to the squad,, plus getting a couple of loan players in from Worcester, it will certainly help.

"There will also be an emphasis on players taking more responsibility and being leaders on the pitch rather than just doing what the coaches tell them to do."

Lucs have lost the services of experienced player Dan Smith, but his brother Alex remains captain.

"Dan played a massive part at the club and I don't think we will ever replace him, but he has moved on and we wish him the best," said Watkins.

"Alex is a different type of captain to Dan, but is just as effective on the team and I'm really happy he is carrying on as captain.

"He also does a lot of off-field work, which I think is important."

Watkins joined Luctonians as backs coach in 2014, but was appointed new head coach following the end of last season.

Former Worcester Warriors, Stourbridge, and Birmingham Solihull player Mike Hill, meanwhile, is the new forwards coach.

"Mike has done a really good job with the boys already and has already made a difference," said Watkins.

Lucs have three pre-season friendlies lines up, starting with a home match against Bridgnorth this Saturday.

"The players will have three games to earn their shirt for the opening league game," added Watkins.

Other friendlies pencilled in are Dorking at home on August 19, followed by Birmingham & Solihull away the following Friday.

The opening league game is an away fixture against Sheffield on September 2.