North Walsham facing up to a 4G challenge
PUBLISHED: 04:46 06 April 2018
Although the opposition will be familiar, North Walsham will be breaking new ground in their latest London One North fixture on Saturday.
Hosts Old Priorians have had to vacate the playing fields at St Benedict’s School in Ealing as they are being prepared for the forthcoming cricket season.
For this reason the game has been moved to the London Irish training ground at Sunbury on Thames where the Vikings will have a rare opportunity to play on a 4G pitch.
The change should not affect the preparation as the squad use a similar pitch at Easton College for training on a regular basis.
With the Vikings sixth and Old Priorians seventh a tight game is in prospect and if that is how it works out it would mirror the early-season game at Scottow which OPs shaded 17-14.
With four games left before he leaves for a new challenge coach James Brooks will be looking to finish with a flourish. He is likely to stick pretty close to the squad that beat strugglers Letchworth 65-0 before the break, although both Tom Knight and Chris Godwin are unavailable so Ed Sampson moves into the back row.
Jordan Mustard, who missed the Letchworth game with injury, is fit but might find he has a seat on the bench. Tom Younie, who also missed the last game, could have work commitments and Mike Braans is still at home on holiday.
North Walsham (from): A Downing, W Swart, L Brown-Bates, R Oakes, R Miller, T Scotland, E Sampson, W Hodgson, J Duffield, J Knight, J Brown, L Thomson, R King, D Smith, D Canning, T Browes, W Haynes.
The Raiders host Hadleigh in the EC1 Shield. Although they have struggled on the results front, the essentially young and inexperienced squad have found playing against older first team opponents a good introduction to senior rugby and emerging youth players like George Isbell and Joe Fairweather are beginning to thrive at the higher level of intensity that comes with adult rugby.
Diss resume their London One North campaign after a break for Easter with a home match against Fullerians, who stand one place above them in the table in ninth position.
Diss will be aiming to build on a 19-15 win at Ruislip in their previous fixture.