Rugby is all about creating memories with the mates around you - I look forward to going back to Gateshead this week and seeing some old friends. Perhaps even sit down for a pint or twelve and reminisce about our time together.
Saturday is a big test for us as we try to bounce back from losing our unbeaten home record last week against Durham City. In addition, Gateshead are a good side at home and in recent seasons have often finished above us in the league.
The next few Saturdays are huge for the group as after Gateshead we have a rest week before playing Horden and then Westoe in the National Cup on the 9th March. With this in mind and an injury plagued new year we have taken the opportunity to rest Daniel Shuttleworth and Darren Kelly. Enabling us to give Paddy Goodings to have a run out at hooker after good displays for the two's. In addition, we welcome back Alex Cleminson on the open side after a fine debut against Acklam recently.
The tight five looks strong despite Shuttleworth being rested as Josh Stacey, Goodings and Pete Twentyman will look to dominate up front. With work in the boiler room coming from Chris Ward and young Adam McDonald. We dominated City at scrum time last week in scoring a penalty try and deserved more than that from the performance up front. The pack is completed with Cleminson, Shaun Stewart and Alex Littlefair. Supporting roles off the bench will come from Luke Menzfeld who played a big role in dominating City last week. He will be joined at some stage by 2nd team captain Ian Pratt who enjoyed a good cameo against Durham.
The back line sees Christian Selkirk return to Gateshead as our starting scrum half. Selkirk has benefited from regular attendance at training and moved from the 3's to the 1's as the season has occurred. The club shows it's depth in this position as Rory Davidson has been named on the bench as the ex colt has progressed from the fours to the ones after the unavailability of Paddy Sowter and Billy Porter in this role.
We welcome back Rich Harrison at ten after several weeks out from a minor operation. His experience will be important in what will be a close encounter. Outside him will be Tom Winning, another ex Gateshead player who has had an incredible first season at the club. Ben Wollerton at outside centre will be charged with releasing the speedsters in Mark Leckie and Lewis Chater. The back line is completed with David Marshall coming up from the two's after some fine displays including an excellent game for the 1's against Acklam recently.
There are two other rather mixed squads out as we play Rockcliff home and away. A joint 2/3's side will play at home with our 4's travelling away. Look forward to getting back to the club for speeches afterwards.
First team at Gateshead (1215 meet) - Josh Stacey, Paddy Goodings, Pete Twentyman (Capt) Chris Ward, Adam McDonald, Shaun Stewart, Alex Cleminson, Alex Littlefair, Christian Selkirk, Rich Harrison, Lewis Chater, Tom Winning, Ben Wollerton, Mark Leckie, David Marshall, Luke Menzfeld, Ian Pratt, Rory Davidson
2/3's to play Rockcliff - Zac Weatherhead, Ollie Dearden (Capt), Don Handlidge (debut) Cam Carmichael, Ross Connell, Gus Nye, Stephen Hughes-Narborough, Ian Pratt, Paddy Sowter, Jonny Winterhalder, James Bass, John Marshall, Luke Foster, Jonny Bulfin, Brendan Thomas, Johnny Walker, Rhys Gibbons, Will Horlock, Sean Isherwood and Billy Porter
4's to play Rockcliff - Andrew McKenna, Ant McQuillan, Stevie Thompson, Jack Shanahan, Ben Lyons, Jeff Burke, Rob Reid, Alan Pitchford, Justin Taylor, Will Evans, Jonny Lowes, Pete Jones, Charlie Willis, Ross Glasper, Stephen Wood (Capt), Alex Cokeley, Ricky Humble, Jamie Humble, Andy Finn, Paul Fitch, Rich Zabrocki and Paul Sanderson
Up the Vos !
Updated 15:16 - 19 Feb 2019 by Fran Mockford