The new BAFANL season is almost here, and the London Blitz will be aiming for their 12th consecutive BritBowl final appearance. In a season that sees the Blitz return to Finsbury Park and a new opponent emerge in Premier South newcomers Bury Saints, there is absolutely everything to play for in the quest for BritBowl XXXI.
The B team also enter their third year of competition in the SFC 2 Championship, again in the SFC 2 East division. With the London Hornets and Cambridgeshire Cats moving up to Division One, Blitz B are joined in the East by the East Kent Mavericks, who move over from the SFC 2 South, and a brand new team in the East Essex Sabres.
Click here to view the fixtures for both the A and B teams.
Blitz A @ Bury Saints (7th May)
The Saints moved up to BAFA's top division after the London Olympians and South Wales Warriors were relegated at the end of last season. The Saints claimed last season's Division One title with an unbeaten 9-0-1 record. A new opponent presents new challenges, and the Saints will prove to be tough competition as reigning champions under head coach Christian Cantrill.
Blitz A vs London Warriors, Blitz B vs Essex Spartans (14th May)
The Blitz mark their return to Finsbury Park with the first of two home double-headers, and immediately face a tough test in a BritBowl XXX rematch with rivals London Warriors. The atmosphere will be tense as the Blitz aim to mark their homecoming with a win and avenge last year's championship game defeat.
Blitz B also host their first home opponent of the season in the form of the Essex Spartans, who struggled to a 2-8 record last season. The Spartans will be looking for a bounce-back campaign as Blitz B attempt to take an early lead in the SFC 2 East after the division's off-season shake-up.
Blitz A vs Bristol Aztecs, Blitz B vs Wembley Stallions (11th June)
The second home double-header of the season sees the Blitz host the Bristol Aztecs, who finished with a 5-4-1 record last season and will be looking to take the next step and challenge for the division. It will be the Blitz's second game against Bristol, which could be pivotal for the playoffs if the Aztecs have a fast start.
Blitz B will host the Wembley Stallions in their third consecutive home game. The Stallions made the playoffs last season with a 7-3 record and swept Blitz B 2-0. Wembley could be playoff contenders again, and it's vital that the B team gets a home win.
Blitz B vs East Kent Mavericks (9th July)
Blitz B's penultimate home game of the season sees them battle SFC 2 East newcomer East Kent Mavericks. The Mavericks finished an 8-2 campaign as the SFC 2 South's second seed last season and made the postseason. East Kent could be in the playoff race again, so Blitz B need to get the early upper hand in what could be a tightly contested division.
Blitz B @ East Sussex Sabres (30th July)
The Sabres are one of six new teams joining BAFA this season and are led by head coach Lee Joseph as they join the SFC 2 East. The Sabres will be a wild card as the rest of the division figures them out. Even if East Essex struggle in their opening season, they could still affect the playoff race with some late upsets as they find their feet.
Blitz A @ London Warriors (6th August)
The third BritBowl XXX rematch is the Blitz's final regular season game and could decide playoff seedings in the division. The stakes will be high in an epic clash at Streatham-Croydon RFC that could eventually decide who lifts the BritBowl trophy this season.