LITTLEMORE are preparing for one of their biggest challenges but are keen to pay attention to the old adage that ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.

Promotion to Southern Counties North – the seventh tier – means the Oxford Academy-based side face a journey into the unknown in 2018-19.

It will be the highest level the club has played at, but they will not be making major changes to a winning formula which has resulted in two promotions in three seasons.

Tweaks have been made, with six-time Varsity Match winning prop Lewis Anderson signing, while scrum half Ralph Jones has moved back to Oxford Harlequins.

Regardless of personnel, a vital ingredient to Littlemore’s recent success has been pre-season player meetings to pinpoint the club’s aims.

After back-to-back promotions, head coach Nick Todd sees no sense in changing that approach.

He said: “I’ve tried as hard as possible not to impose anything on the players in terms of what their ambitions should be.

“I would rather let the players tell me what they want to achieve and for me to facilitate that.

“I’ve done that the last couple of years and it’s been fairly successful, so I see no reason in changing that.

“We’re under no illusions Southern Counties North is a tough league, I’ve played in this division before.

“Our challenge is not ability, but the depth of squads we will be playing against.

“The teams we’ll be facing have got production lines of players that we just don’t have access to currently.

“Every game will be a challenge but as per the last three seasons we will prepare accordingly.”

One move to developing a larger pool of players is the introduction of a second XV into the Thames Valley Invitation League.

Jason Chambers has been appointed first-team captain after Rich Tattersall stepped down due to personal reasons.

A player who adds extra experience is former Oxford University front-row Anderson, who holds the record for most Varsity wins for an individual.

Todd, whose side return to training on Tuesday, July 3, said: “I want to see what he can offer us – I’m excited to work with him.

“All I will be asking him to do is to come and enjoy his rugby, there’s no pressure on him to take up any leadership.

“His reputation precedes him, and I’m sure he would take on that kind of role anyway, but I’m just looking forward to seeing a good signing.”