BEN Manning says Chinnor have ‘unfinished business’ ahead of their season-opener at Darlington Mowden Park.

The Thame-based side get the National League 1 campaign under way at the 25,000-seater Northern Echo Arena on Saturday.

Chinnor finished seventh in the third tier last term, but a 42-17 loss at Darlington in February was among their heaviest defeats of the season.

Newly-appointed captain Manning hopes to avenge that result as Richard Thorpe’s side aim to put down a marker.

He said: “We just want to take it a game at a time.

“We’re focused on Darlington Mowden Park – we’re not looking any further than that.

“Darlington will be very, very good and we’ve got unfinished business up there as we performed poorly against them last season.

"I think it's a great venue and a great game to start off the season.

"I have no doubt they will be fully loaded, but we're well prepared, have had a good pre-season, we back our game plan, and we're just looking forward to getting the season underway."

Elsewhere, Henley Hawks get up and running in the newly-created National 2 East with a home game against Bury St Edmunds.

The Dry Leas outfit finished eighth in National 2 South last term.

Meanwhile, it is a milestone weekend for Oxford Quins and Banbury Bulls, who kick-off their Regional 1 South Central campaigns.

The Oxfordshire duo were promoted after finishing first and second respectively in South West 1 East last term.

Quins start with a long trip to Brighton and director of rugby Stuart Wells cannot wait.

He said: “There is a tangible buzz around the club, exciting new players have arrived, and the partnership with Oxford Brookes Sport has moved to a new level through the appointment of Premiership legend Tom Varndell.

“We hope to welcome supporters from across the city to our men’s and women’s home matches this season.”

Meanwhile, Banbury host Havant in their first National League fixture for more than 20 years.

Director of rugby Matt Goode said: “I’m expecting a big crowd on Saturday, they’ve really been our 16th man in recent years.

"It’s fantastic to be back in the National Leagues with so many homegrown players.

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Matt Goode Picture: Banbury RUFC

"We’ve had a brilliant pre-season and hope we continue that form into the first game of the season.

"We know when we get the crowd behind us, we find a different gear.

"I’m looking forward to seeing as many people as possible here on Saturday.

"It should be a great game with some great rugby.”

Witney host Buckingham in Regional 2 Tribute South Central, while Grove go to Marlborough.

Chinnor 3rd join Gosford All Blacks, Wallingford and Bicester in Counties 1 Southern North.