The ridiculously hot weather may have gone but the after effects are still being felt - with rugby clubs among those suffering the consequences.

Welwyn were due to play away at Datchworth in the opening game of the new Counties One Herts Middlesex Division but the hard ground made it unsafe.

That was the reason for a number of pre-season friendlies being cancelled too and the combined lack of practice with the firmness of the surface means the derby clash will now take place on October 8.

But with a week of rain forecast, Welwyn are confident of kick-starting their campaign on Saturday when they host Grasshoppers at Hobbs Way.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: The before and after shots after Welwyn Rugby Club's changing room upgrade.The before and after shots after Welwyn Rugby Club's changing room upgrade. (Image: Welwyn Rugby Club)

When and if they do, both teams will find revamped changing rooms after a summer of work at the club.

President Mark Elliott said: "The project comprised a total upgrade of our changing facilities and is the most significant project undertaken since the clubhouse was built in 1974.

"One of the biggest issues we faced with the original changing room layout was a lack of privacy.

"There were no privacy screens or walls meaning open doors exposed anyone in the room to anyone in the corridors.

"And with different age groups and, and different genders on Sundays, trying to host matches at overlapping times was nigh on impossible to manage.

"The new changing rooms now have their own showers so a huge improvement for everyone.

"The new layout also provides new gents toilets in the old physio room, which is closer to the social spaces and avoids the issue of having a male toilet area situated halfway down the changing room corridor.

"With the reorganised space and en-suite showers, we now have two more changing rooms than before, massively improving Sunday logistics where we often have multiple junior boys and girls matches with overlapping timings.

"The ladies toilets have also been upgraded with new flooring and full redecoration and a new accessible toilet has been built in the entrance lobby of the clubhouse.

"The project has been paid for by funds raised over the last four years which include Government grants, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council and Herts County Council grants, an RFU/Sport England grant, a VAT refund from HMRC, sponsorship and donations from generous benefactors.

"The club remains in a healthy financial position."

Welwyn did manage to get one game in on Saturday, beating Epping Upper Clapton 36-26 on Cheshunt's artificial surface.

After a scoreless first 20 minutes, the match suddenly came alive with the lead changing hands several times.

Welwyn scored six tries in all, with skipper, Josh Milton bagging four and Tom Emery and Chris Kemp getting the others.

Kemp also added three conversions.

Rolling subs allowed Welwyn to give valuable match time to all 20 players in the travelling squad and they will be hoping that an injury picked up late in the game by Fin Sutherland is not too serious.

Head coach Gareth Hughes said: "This was a really good start to the season. The lads played well in patches but there is much to work on."