Banks back as two bid Fylde farewell

Roger Banks
Roger Banks
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Former Fylde RFC skipper Roger Banks is to rejoin the club after a two-year spell as player/coach at Fleetwood RUFC.

Banks’ return further strengthens the Woodlands club, who aim to announce the signing of a player with Premiership experience this week, ahead of their second campaign at National One level.

The Lancashire county lock or no.8 initially joined Fylde from Fleetwood in 2003, made 173 first-team appearances.

Fylde head Coach Mark Nelson said: “I said when he left that Roger would always be welcome back here, so we’re delighted at his return.

“He’s done a great job coaching Fleetwood but has the appetite to challenge himself as a player at National One level. He’s returning solely as a player and is a fine addition to the squad.”

Banks, who coached Fleetwood to the North Lancs/Cumbria League title last season, said “I’m really proud of what we achieved at Fleetwood.

“However, I got the bug back halfway through last season to play again in the National Leagues, especially as I’m knocking on a bit now and didn’t want to leave it too late!

“I’d like to think my return will give the coaches options. I just really want to enjoy my rugby in an excellent environment and hopefully see my playing days out at this fantastic club.

“I really enjoyed it at Fleetwood and think I learned a lot about myself, as well as gaining a lot of coaching experience.

Banks has remained in touch with many of the Fylde players and still comes into contact with a good number of them through Lancashire – he and centre Chris Briers were room-mates on a Lancashire tour of Canada.

Championship, and the Lancashire tour to Canada where my room mate was Chris Briers. It’s really good to see him in a Fylde shirt as he is a fantastic player. Gaz Rawlings was on that tour as well.

Banks added: “My biggest challenge is definitely going to be getting my fitness back up to the levels needed to compete at this level, which gets harder as you get older.”

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Steve Collins and Callum McShane have both left Fylde for Sedgley Park.

Fly-half and goalkicker Collins moved to Fylde from Rochdale two seasons ago. Having missed the first half of the 2010/11 season injured, Collins struggled to hold down a place but made 33 appearances, scoring 232 points.

Scrum-half or occasional winger McShane also 20 appearances and made the step up to the senior Lancashire side last season.

Coach Nelson said: “We wish both players the very best of luck and thank them for their contribution.

“Callum began his senior career at the Woodlands and has made substantial progress. He’s been promised a first-team starting place at Park Lane next season, something I couldn’t guarantee at Fylde.”