DORSET Giants are looking ahead to a big year after they were accepted into a summer league by the Rugby Football League (RFL).

This comes days after they combined with the Devon Sharks as the Devon & Dorset District Lions to play the West of England Lionhearts in a match they lost 44-18 but put in a fine performance.

The aim of the Giants is to promote rugby league as well as break down the barriers between the sport and rugby union, as well as to help players forge new friendships throughout the county and raise the profile of rugby union players.

Head coach of the Giants, Anthony Cowburn, speaking of the match, said: “We are going in the right direction, we lost 44-18 but the players gained so much experience out of playing against clearly players of a higher level.

“We lost but actually the performance was fantastic.”

The Lions are a combined effort to allow more Dorset-based players exposure to the league through playing some high profile games but the Giants is the main venture.

The Giants currently consist of players from Swanage & Wareham, Weymouth & Portland, Poole, Wimborne and Lytchett.

Expanding on the game, Cowburn said: “When the opposition came off the park they said that they did not think the players were individually better than them, they just felt they collectively had a little bit more structure because they have played together longer.

“So they came away from the game feeling more confident about their own ability.”

Cowburn was delighted with the performances put in from his squad, as he explained: “Most of these Dorset-based players actually played union on the Saturday as well so it just showed their level of commitment.

“We have got big plans for the Dorset Giants now going forward.”

Speaking of the side’s immediate future, Cowburn said: “We are just pushing now for some sponsorship to come forward.

“We have got some exciting games against the British Army Veterans, and we are aiming to organise a nines tournament down at Weymouth.”

The club do not aim to have one specific home ground and they hope to play games in and around Dorset but currently have

agreements to play at Monmouth Avenue, Weymouth and Swanage & Wareham’s home ground at Bestwall.

The club are looking for sponsors, visit their website at countygiants/club-officers