Coach warns over form sides

Josh Beaumont and Richard Kenyon
Josh Beaumont and Richard Kenyon
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COACH Mark Nelson says Fylde rugby club will be taking on the form team of National League One when they entertain Birmingham and Solihull at the Woodlands tomorrow.

The Midlanders may be battling against relegation as they languish third from bottom of the table, but the Bees are battling hard to retain their status and are doing their utmost to belay their lowly status.

Nelson said: “Prior to losing by only one point to Coventry last Saturday, Birmingham and Solihull had won their last four matches.

“We have Birmingham and Solihull tomorrow and then it’s Blackheath away in the next game, so we are playing the two current form sides of the division.

“Birmingham and Solihull play a traditional type of game – they have a strong scrum and play to their fly-half.

“If we get the ball from their kick, we have to show that we can counter and run the ball back at them straightaway.”

Third-placed Fylde are able to field a ‘wild card’ selection tomorrow in the shape of Josh Beaumont, who is free from representative rugby commitments this weekend with England Students.

Tomorrow’s team has yet to be finalised, but Beaumont could replace Paul Arnold in the second row or fill a spot on the bench.

Arnold has been struggling with a neck injury.

Nelson said: “If Arnold is not fully fit, we will give him a rest and wait until the Blackheath match with him.”

Steve McGinnis is available to play on the flank, while Nelson is keeping his options open regarding the front row.

Prop Alastair Livesey and hooker Jonny Roddam have been pencilled in, while the other berth up front rests between Peter Altham and Tom Lavelle.

Nelson said: “A number of players have been carrying knocks and I don’t think there is a player who has been entirely injury-free at this late stage of the season.”

Fylde: C Briers; Royle, S Briers, Waywell, Brennand; Kenyon, Wallwork; Livesey, Roddam, Altham/Lavelle, Arnold/J Beaumont, Ferguson, Stewart, McGinnis. S Beaumont. Replacements: Loney, Griffiths/Altham, Stephenson/J Beaumont, McShane, Viney. Kick-off 3pm.