Sale and return for Fylde trio

Pope - missing from Fylde team
Pope - missing from Fylde team

Fylde RFC are forced into changing a winning squad as they seek that elusive first away win of the season at Cambridge in National League One tomorrow.

Forwards Evan Stewart and Alex Loney are both unavailable as they are required for duties at the schools where they work.

And Fylde will also be without a trio of Sale Sharks loanees; Jake Pope, Sam Bedlow and George Nott have been called up for Sale’s Anglo-Welsh Cup clash with Bristol tonight.

Bedlow and Nott missed last Saturday’s narrow home win over Ampthill & District as they were in the squad for the match with Wasps – Bedlow scored a try – and now teenage prop forward Pope, who has impressed on loan at the Woodlands has been added too.

Fylde may have to get used to being without Pope early in the New Year; he has hopes of being called into the England ranks for the Six Nations Under-20 Championships.

Sale have been keeping close tabs on his progress at Fylde.

Pope said: “Sale are keeping a watch on me all the time. Sale get the videos of me playing and the coaches go through them.”

He added: “It is tough and physical playing against older, more experienced men, but I am enjoying it.

“If I carry on playing well, hopefully I will show the England coaches. The Six Nations starts in February and they name the squad in January and Fylde are helping by playing me regularly.

“I like the style of play at Fylde; they like to play running rugby and being here is doing me good.

“I am getting good game time here, playing 80 minutes week in, week out.”

In Pope’s absence, Simon Griffith comes into the front row. With Stewart out, there is a place in the back row for another player signed on a dual registration from Sale, Andy Hughes.

Ben Gregory takes over the hooker’s role on the bench for Loney. Paul Arnold returns to the bench after a ban. Skipper Chris Briers needs a fitness test on injured ribs.