Ipswich Rugby Club were planning for London 1 North rugby before promotion

Ipswich's Mark Broughton (l) and Jake Goodwin (r) attempt to charge down this clearance from Bruce v

Ipswich's Mark Broughton (l) and Jake Goodwin (r) attempt to charge down this clearance from Bruce van Poortvliet - Credit: James Ager

Ipswich president Dick Lain said the club has already started making plans for next season’s London 1 North campaign.

Johnny Breedt’s side only clinched promotion on Saturday, courtesy of their 39-19 win at Holt and Saffron Walden’s 38-31 defeat Chelmsford, but have been in contention all season.

“We were not being arrogant but with a chance of gaining promotion, we had to look at next season,” said Lain.

“We need to be in a position where we can cope with the step up to London 1 North.”

Former player Lain, who returned to the club three years ago and is in his first year as president, added: “It’s been a long, hard battle and a long, hard road.

“Three years ago the senior side had a limited number of players and I take my hat my hat off to all the coaching staff, the players and the committee who have been involved in the rebuilding of the club, on and off the pitch, both at senior and junior level. As a club we have strengthened on the park and are now attracting players into the club that have moved into the area or are playing within Suffolk and the Eastern Counties and we are stronger this year than last.

“Last year we felt we were probably not ready for the step up but now we are there, the aim is to consolidate and maintain our position. We have no ideas about going further at this present time.”

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Going further would see Ipswich reach the level of Bury St Edmunds in National 3 (London & SE) and while that may seem some time off at the moment, Lain said the example set at The Haberden was one they could look to follow.

“Very much so, they have had fantastic success over the last few years,” said Lain.

“But it’s taken them a long while and success has not come overnight.

“It has taken lots of hard work by lots of people and we are looking forward to the challenge.

Meanwhile, skipper Chris Blom paid tribute to the Ipswich Rugby Club family that have helped keep the wheels turning at Humber Doucy Lane this season.

“Everybody feels like a champion at the club, from the groundsman, to the committee members, the supporters and the families,” said Blom.

“The families have sacrificed a lot as rugby is a way of life for many of the players.

“It’s taken a massive commitment.”

He added: “It’s been a long three years, we had a three-year plan and last year we came joint second in the league.

“We knew we had to work a bit harder this year and knew what we had to do to win the league.

“It’s great to have that mentality and hats off to the boys.”