FYLDE RFC coach Mark Nelson has spoken of the growing pressures on three key members of his injury-torn pack.
On the eve of tomorrow’s visit to the Woodlands of third-placed Cinderford, Nelson said he would like to remove the likes of Paul Arnold, Roger Banks and Evan Stewart from the firing-line, but it is a risk he cannot make because of the club’s injury situation and with others like Alex Loney and Steve McGinnis being unavailable.
The Fylde coach admitted: “We are putting a massive burden on players like Arnold, Banks and Stewart, who are all having to play 80 minutes every week with no respite.
“In an ideal world, we could take players like that off in a game and substitute them or rotate the squad in their positions so they have a week off, but we cannot do that.
“All three are doing a fantastic job, but it is a big burden to put on them week-in, week-out.
“We could put Sam Beaumont in that bracket too – he got injured against Ealing last Saturday.
“It is a very physical sport and it is hard for players to go into this kind of grind, week in, week out, and we are only in early October.”
Nelson is unable to finalise his line-up for the Cinderford clash.
In addition to losing Sam Beaumont for three weeks with a hip injury, brother Josh is unavailable because of a shoulder problem.
Prop Alistair Livesey is out for three to four weeks with a shoulder injury.
In the backs, Fylde will be without winger Nick Royle.
Nelson explained: “He is having a final trial with Sale on Monday and he can’t risk injury.”
Fly-half Chris Johnson requires a fitness test on a hamstring strain.
Fylde can expect a testing encounter with the visitors.
Nelson said: “Cinderford are having the best start to the season that they have ever had and it will be a massive challenge for us.
“They will probably be the most physical side we have faced all season.
“We will have to play in our own natural, expansive way.”
The Fylde back-line will be chosen from: Chris Briers, Ollie Viney, Stephen Briers, Scott Barrow, Chris Johnson, Warren Spragg, Martin Wallwork, Ryan De La Harpe and Richard Kenyon.
The likely make-up of the pack is: Danny Birchall, Tom Burtonwood, Tom Lavelle, Paul Arnold, Roger Banks, Danny Maher, Evan Stewart and Ben Vernon.
England Sevens back Dan Bibby is set to train with Fylde, and, if his commitments away from the England Sevens team allow, in time he could appear for Fylde.
Fylde had been due to have a look at former Newport lock James Connors in training earlier this week, but this did not materialise.