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Brooks poised for his final home match as North Walsham coach

PUBLISHED: 15:54 12 April 2018 | UPDATED: 15:54 12 April 2018

This season's North Walsham coaching team of, from left, Johnny Marsters, James Brooks and Joe Beardshaw. Picture: Hywel Jones

This season's North Walsham coaching team of, from left, Johnny Marsters, James Brooks and Joe Beardshaw. Picture: Hywel Jones

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Saturday marks the final home game of the season for North Walsham and for coach James Brooks when Eton Manor come to Scottow.

The London side have, like the Vikings, had a mixed but mainly successful season and currently sit fifth in London 1N, one spot ahead of their hosts, the sides being separated by eight points.

There should be at least one familiar face in the Manor squad as Rhys Davies-Horne, son of Walsham president Dave Horne, is likely to figure in the back line. The other possible Scottow old boy Matt Oakes, brother of Walsham skipper Ryan Oakes and son of team manager Mark Oakes, might be in the Manor back row, but his appearances this season have been sporadic due mainly to work commitments.

For Walsham there will be the inevitable changes. Up front prop Dane Canning picked up a shoulder injury late in the win at Old Priorians. His absence could be covered by a shuffle in the front row with Chalk Hill Brewery March player of the month Will Swart possibly reverting to hooker and Tom Browes to his more familiar spot on the tight head.

In the back row Chris Godwin will most probably return to the open side if Swart moves forward.

Behind the pack James Knight should return, which again will mean a re-shuffle if he resumes his centre partnership with Will Hodgson, and if Mike Braans is back from his Easter break Brooks will have to give a lot of thought to how he can best use his options.

North Walsham from: A Downing, W Swart, L Brown-Bates, T Browes, T Weber, R Oakes, R Miller, T Scotland, E Sampson, C Godwin, W Hodgson, J Duffield, J Knight, J Brown, L Thomson, R King, D Smith, J Mustard, T Knight, H Downing.

Diss, who are certain to finish their first campaign back in London 1N in either 10th or 11th position, have a tough game at fourth-placed Amersham & Chiltern.

North Walsham Raiders are at home to Thurston, who have already confirmed their participation after last week’s disappointing call-off from Hadleigh. The squad provisionally includes Fijian Eroni Tuimoala, recently returned from deployment in Afghanistan. Both games kick off at 3pm.

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