Reorganisation of the National League structure by the RFU has placed Henley Hawks in National 2 East for the coming 2022-23 season.
Previously there were two leagues (North and South) feeding into National 1 but there are now three National 2 leagues, National 2 West, National 2 East and National 2 North, each with fourteen teams.
The teams in each league are grouped together geographically to reduce travelling times, costs and distances. For the Hawks, being placed in National 2 East means games against teams from London and the home counties instead of travelling to matches against teams from Bristol and the West Country.
The Hawks start their league campaign on Saturday 3 September at home against Bury St Edmunds with their first away game the following week against Old Albanian. The Hawks have met all but one of the clubs before in league rugby and supporters can look forward to travelling to the Channel Islands again on 7 January to take on Guernsey Raiders. The furthest journey over land they will have to make is to North Walsham in Norfolk on 1 October.
Games against the famous Blackheath club are also a highlight with the game at Dry Leas on 29 October and at Blackheath on 25 February. The one club Henley have not met before in league rugby is Sevenoaks RFC and the first meeting between the two clubs will be in Kent on 26 November.
The league season has also been shortened to help with player welfare and there is a protected two week break over the Christmas period as well as protected weekend breaks.
The new league structure will be reviewed in three years time. The full season timetable is listed below:
Sat 3 Sept Bury St Edmunds (Home)
Sat 10 Sept Old Albanian (Away)
Sat 17 Sept Guernsey Raiders (Home)
Sat 24 Sept Barnes (Home)
Sat 1 Oct North Walsham (Away)
Sat 15 Oct Tonbridge Juddian (Home)
Sat 22 Oct Westcliff (Away)
Sat 29 Oct Blackheath (Home)
Sat 5 Nov Worthing Raiders (Away)
Sat 12 Nov Dorking (Home)
Sat 26 Nov Sevenoaks (Away)
Sat 3 Dec Rochford Hundred (Home)
Sat 10 Dec Canterbury (Away)
Sat 17 Dec Old Albanian (Home)
Sat 7 Jan Guernsey Raiders (Away)
Sat 14 Jan Barnes (Away)
Sat 21 Jan North Walsham (Home)
Sat 28 Jan Tonbridge Juddian (Away)
Sat 18 Feb Westcliff (Home)
Sat 25 Feb Blackheath (Away)
Sat 4 Mar Worthing Raiders (Home)
Sat 11 Mar Dorking (Away)
Sat 25 Mar Sevenoaks (Home)
Sat 1 Apr Rochford Hundred (Away)
Sat 15 Apr Canterbury (Home)
Sat 22 Apr Bury St Edmunds (Away)
Kick off times will be announced in due course.