ENGLAND Sevens star Jack Preece will lift Cinderford to new levels, according to director of rugby Andy Deacon.
The former Birmingham and Solihull player (inset) has signed for the Foresters on dual registration until the end of the National One season.
Preece is still working his way back from snapping the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee but played his first match for ten months last Saturday.
Preece, who wants to concentrate on playing hooker after converting from openside, could not stop Cinderford’s United side losing to Richmond Seconds.
But Deacon says that once Preece is fully up to speed again everyone will feel the benefit at Dockham Road.
Deacon said: “Jack did well after being out for ten months and he was a bit sore afterwards, but he will be a great signing for us.
“He will increase the standard of the squad and we’re picking up injures at the moment so we need decent guys coming in to strengthen us.
“He has played at Championship level with Birmingham so he comes with good calibre.
“He’s not the biggest man in the world but he’s very physical and has a hard work rate, and he will put pressure on the other hookers there.
“It will be good for competition and it will raise the bar.”
Preece will fight it out with fellow hookers Tom Bozzard, who is the club’s top try scorer, and Stuart Bailey after injury ruled out third-choice Nico Woodward for the season.
The new man will hook up with former coach and Cinderford United manager Paul Morris after the pair worked together with the Gloucestershire Under-20s.
Preece will get another chance to step up his recovery when the United team play Matson in a friendly this Saturday.
If he comes through that unscathed he could be in contention for the rearranged visit of Tynedale on February 9, but Deacon does not want to push him too quickly.
“Jack has been out for ten months and we will want to push him on but we have to be sensible,” added Deacon.
“He is doing his rehabilitation and coming back into the game after a bad injury.
“We have to be patient and ensure he gets some good form and shows what he can do in the United side.
“If he gets another 80 minutes under his belt and comes through it and is in good nick then he will be in contention.
“He is a fit lad anyway, but he will have to get match fit and we could introduce him off the first team bench maybe.”