Lancashire’s key choices for county clash at Fylde

Jordan Dorrington
Jordan Dorrington
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Lancashire rugby union coach Mark Nelson is considering his options for the scrum-half berth after Fylde’s Greg Nicholls had to withdraw from the Red Rose line-up taking on Eastern Counties at the Woodlands Memorial Ground tomorrow.

Nicholls, who scored in the victory over Yorkshire in the opening match of the County Championship at Scarborough, is unavailable as he is a doctor and is required on call.

One possibility to take over the number nine jersey is another Fylde player, Jordan Dorrington.

He and Nicholls are the only recognised scrum-halves in the original Lancashire squad, so Nelson is exploring the possibility of bringing in another specialist in that position from outside.

Two players already ruled out of contention are the Sedgley Park half-backs Steve Collins and Callum McShane, who are both involved with their clubs in end-of-season play-off matters.

Nelson missed the win over Yorkshire as he was in West London presenting an exhibition of his paintings in Chelsea. He said: “I have spoken to Warren Spragg and Martin Scott who both did an exceptionally good job in coaching the side at Scarborough and they said it was an all-round good performance.

“The players did everything that we had asked of them beforehand in training.”

Nelson does not envisage many changes tomorrow from the side that overcame Yorkshire 40-27 in a contest when there were 10 Fylde players in the starting line-up.

He said: “There will probably be one or two changes in terms of players coming back when they were unavailable for the Yorkshire match.

“Dave Fairbrother could come back into contention, but once again there is a question of whether he will be available.”

While Lancashire were putting one over Yorkshire in the Roses match, Eastern Counties went down 29-11 against Cheshire.

Nelson said: “By all accounts Eastern Counties put up a good show against Cheshire and on no account will we be taking them lightly.”

The opening round of matches in the Bill Beaumont Cup produced some splendid entertainment in all parts of the country.

Cornwall, who beat Lancashire in last season’s Championship decider at Twickenham, were involved in a nailbiting 33-27 win against Gloucestershire.

Gloucester had led entering the fifth minute of stoppage-time when Cornwall crossed for a last-gasp try that snatched victory.