McGinnis back in nick of Tyne

Steve McGinnis for Lancashire
Steve McGinnis for Lancashire

SOMETHING has to give at the Woodlands tomorrow when Fylde take on Tynedale (3pm).

Both sides go into the match on a losing run of three, which adds spice to what is traditionally a full-blooded encounter.

However, the results between the clubs are on the debit side so far as Fylde are concerned, with Tynedale having the Indian sign.

Fylde ave lost six and drawn one of the last seven league meetings between the clubs, which is hardly an enviable sequence.

The Woodlands club have been handed a selection boost with the return of flanker Steve McGinnis.

He is back earlier than expected after injury and an operation for appendicitis, but he is only available for the next two fixtures because of work commitments.

Chris Briers comes back after a two-game suspension and plays on the wing, while Nick Royle is also back and plays as an attack-conscious last line of defence.

Royle did not play in the defeat at Cambridge last week because the England Sevens management did not want him to run the risk of aggravating a heel injury.

Martin Wallwork is again handed the starting berth at scrum-half, with Steve Depledge on the bench.

In the pack Jonny Roddam switches to hooker, which means Alex Loney switches to tight head in the front row.

Coach Mark Nelson said it was good to get McGinnis back, albeit for a limited period.

He added: “The lads who have come into the back row while McGinnis has been out have done a good job and have gained invaluable experience, but Steve is one of our primary players, so obviously it is good to have him available for two matches.”

McGinnis’ grit and determination would have been a huge asset in Fylde’s last home match, a chastening defeat at home to strugglers Barking.

Fylde remain third in National One despite their reversal of fortunes and Nelson said: “We were poor against Barking and worked on things after that. We improved against Cambridge and I maintain that was a match we could have won.

“It is not as if we played badly – only then would I have been worried. And we did get something in terms of a bonus point.”

There is a slight injury concern over second row Gareth Rawlings but he is expected to be OK.

Mark Stephenson still has an ankle injury but could play for the second team, Fylde Wanderers, tomorrow or wait another week.

Tynedale are currently eighth, having won and lost four. Their best performance of the season was to beat Macclesfield, who are currently second.

Nelson remarked: “It just goes to show what a topsy-turvy league we are playing in.”

Birmingham-Solihull are the latest club to fall foul of the regulations and suffer a points deduction. The Midlanders have been docked five points for playing more than the allowed number of loan players.

Earlier in the campaign, Jersey were docked five points for having too many overseas players.

Nelson said: “It goes to show that the registering of players is a minefield.”

Fylde: Royle; C Briers, S Briers, Waywell, Brennand; Kenyon, Wallwork; Livesey, Roddam, Loney, Arnold, Rawlings, Stewart, McGinnis, S Beaumont; replacements: Lavelle, Griffiths, Ferguson, Collins, Depledge.