Lewis hails Woodlands spirit

Adam Lewis - on the ball

Adam Lewis - on the ball

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Fylde RFC prop Adam Lewis says enjoying rugby, flexibility and a willingness to buy into the team ethic has been key to the season.

Lewis returned to the Woodlands at the start of the campaign after a spell away, some it playing the 13-a-side code.

The Thornton-born front rower has been one of the mainstays of the pack and for a prop he displays plenty of speed off the mark in open play.

Lewis said: “It is great to come to training with a great bunch of lads and enjoy the rugby - that is the most important thing, enjoying it.

“It won’t work if we don’t do our bit and support each other.

“It’s important that everyone busts a gut and pops up on the field in unexpected places - we don’t do the obvious at Fylde.

“We realise that if we don’t work for each other we won’t achieve what we set out to achieve.

“We all dig in for each other – regardless of the personnel and whoever slots in, even substitutes getting 10 or 20 minutes, everybody has to fit in.

“I played Rugby League for a couple of seasons and it has definitely helped the way we play (at Fylde).

“It was nice to have a break out of rugby, but it’s good to be back - you miss being in that team environment.”

Lewis was one of a number of players who figured prominently in Fylde’s first win of 2014, a 33-17 victory over Blackheath, the Londoners escaping an even bigger reverse.

Lewis said: “It was good to get off to a start like that after Christmas and keep it going after the win we had (on December 21) against Wharfedale, but we let Blackheath off the hook.

“We should have had loads more tries, though coming back just after Christmas it was probably a case of dusting off the cobwebs.

“But the important thing is we got the win - it was especially important before a big trip to Worthing on Saturday.”

January is an important month for Fylde as they entertain National League One leaders Doncaster tomorrow week, prior to a home fixture against Loughborough Students the following Saturday.

Lewis feels strongly that Fylde have a serious score to settle with Doncaster.

Fylde ran the South Yorkshire pacesetters close when they met in the corresponding away fixture in October, going down 29-24.

Lewis asserted: “We should all be looking forward to Doncaster because we should have won at their place - there is no doubt about that.

“But we should only concentrate on the Worthing game and not look ahead of ourselves.”

The second half of the season will see Fylde without the services of former skipper Roger Banks, who has stepped down from playing after chalking up 200 appearances for Fylde.

Lewis says his absence will leave a gap that is hard to fill.

“It is a big shame about ‘Rog’ – I owe him a lot he was great player and a great player to have around as well.

“He has played so many games and I was fortunate in playing five or six years with him.”

Fylde give a late fitness test to Scott Barrow prior to finalising their side for the trip to Worthing.

Barrow has been out for several weeks with a knee injury, but he has been earmarked as the fly-half replacement for Chris Johnson, who is unavailable.

Gareth Gore returns after a broken nose to lock the scrum with Paul Arnold, with Joe Robinson reverting to the back row in place of Steve McGinnis.

Steve Briers’ place at centre is taken by Charles Hough, while hooker Ollie Trippier replaces Mark Rylance on the bench.

Cameron Thompson, on the bench must pass a test on a foot injury.

It seems highly unlikely that there will be repeat of what happened when the sides met in September, Fylde losing 50-45.

Nelson said: “I have been involved in some bizarre matches with Fylde, but that one takes the biscuit.

“We imploded at one point and yet we could still have won it at the end when Paul Arnold went over the line, but the referee did not give it - we have improved massively since.”

Fylde: Viney; Spragg, Hough, C Briers, Brennand; Barrow, De La Harpe; Birchall, Burtonwood, Lewis, Gore, Arnold, Robinson, Vernon, Stewart. Replacements: Griffiths, Trippier, Thompson, Wallwork, Lawton