The side has now been finalised - however, any support that wishes to come can contact Magnus Leask on 0790 443 5993 to ensure a seat ! Meet 1045 with a return of 2200ish as we plan to stop on the way back at either a bar or another rugby club. A great occasion to take the entire wider first team squad to Whitby.
First team at Whitby 1415 kick off - Josh Stacey, Daniel Shuttleworth, Pete Twentyman, Tom Cox, Chris Ward, Adam McDonald, Ben Merrett, Sean Ramsay, Christian Selkirk, Lewis Chater, Tim Hart, Jack Hearn, Sam Busby, Shaun Stewart, Ben Wollerton, Euan Duncan, Chris Law and Nick Bellamy. Travelling but not selected - Luke Menzfeld, Rich Harrison, Billy Porter, Paddy Sowter, Iain Dodds, Kit Sorenson, Jez Nash, Alex Cokeley, David Duffy, Graeme Cooper, Nick Cotterill, Alistair Blythman and unfortunately - Magnus Leask.
Third team home to Houghton at 1415 - Jonny Walker, Paddy Goodings, Gus Graham, Ian Pratt, Cam Carmichael, Jamie Wallace, Alex Watson, Alex Cleminson, Rory Davidson, Jonny Winterhalder, James Bass, Will Horlock, John Marshall, Cameron SPencer, Dave Marshall, Josh Floyd, Rhys Gibbons, Jack Nye, Mark Leckie, Charlie Willis, Hayden Williamson and Stephen Wood.
Fourth team home to Percy Park at 1415 - Jon Watson, Steve Thompson, Andrew McKenna, Ben SIlk, Chris Brown, Rob Reid, Ryan Crowson, Rich Zabrocki, Ben Holman, Jack Pellew, Ross Glasper, Will Evans, Pete Jones, Jonny Bulfin, Jonny Lowes, Brendan Thomas,, Alan Pitchfor, Jamie Humble, Jack Scott, Will Patrick, Paul Fitch, Justin Taylor, Nathan Harrap, Alex Milton.
2019 started with a great win over Ponteland last week and we hope to take that momentum into Saturday's game at Whitby. Our opponents are in a relegation battle but were an incredibly physical test in our encounter at the start of the season. They possess a heavy pack which scrummage well and are a tough set of lads. We will not be taking them lightly and as such have chosen not to rotate players without cause.
Only one change in the starting pack as first team regular Tom Cox comes in for Andy Hall who is at work this Saturday unfortunately. Hall was impressive last week however, Cox is the alpha second rower when available and is enjoying a fantastic first season at the club. Expecting a tough battle up front we have named an extra forward on the bench which has allowed Chris Law a place in the squad. Law is a tough, hard tackling member of the wider first team squad and I'm sure he will relish his chance.
The back line is shuffled a bit as Henry Wilson and Jez Nash are unavailable. No drama though as we have some great depth at the club in the backs this season. Jack Hearn will start at twelve after a fantastic game last week of the bench. Sam Busby will be moved even closer to the ball by playing outside centre - looking forward to seeing these two lads combine. The midfield shuffle allows Ben Wollerton to play at fullback, his preferred position. Meaning Tim Hart starts on the wing - he had a great game there against Old Rish in the cup and will also enjoy the opportunity.
The squad is under a bit of pressure at the moment as we still have some long term injuries - Alex Littlefair (hand) George Bambrick (ankle) Jez Nash (ankle) and a few niggling issues with Rich Harrison (back) Paddy Sowter (hamstring). However, Littlefair is set to return at the end of the month; Harrison could be back in contention by then as well; Goodings is having a run out for the two's this Saturday and Sowter was back in training last night.
So hopefully we can get through this tough period in January as the squad have some tough league games ahead as well as the National Cup fixture vs Westoe at home on the 2nd February.
Good luck to all the lads putting on a jersey this weekend.
Up the Vos !
Updated 10:54 - 9 Jan 2019 by Magnus Leask