Nelson refuses to get carried away

Alex Loney
Alex Loney
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FYLDE rugby club coach Mark Nelson, happy at the side’s 100 per cent start to the season, refuses to get carried away – or to set targets for the season.

As Fylde prepare to take on Wharfedale tomorrow, Nelson said: “There are still 28 games to go and we are only in the opening salvos, and I won’t start to look seriously at the league tables until October.

“I know it is a cliche, but I am looking no further than the next game, and I am too long in the tooth to start setting targets because when you do that, you can leave yourself disappointed.

“In any case, I always expect to see the dark cloud rather than the silver lining.”

Not that Nelson downplays the achievement so far, which has seen Fylde get maximum points from the two matches against Jersey and Cinderford.

Fylde will be without hooker Jonny Roddam for the visit of Wharfedale – he has an achilles injury, so Alex Loney will undertake the ball-winner’s role.

Evan Stewart has recovered from a shoulder injury and takes his place in the back row – however, centre Stephen Briers is out with a ‘dead’ leg.

The ready-made replacement is his brother Chris.

Second rower Paul Arnold is a likely candidate for the bench provided he recovers from a leg injury.

Josh Beaumont is likely to lock the scrum, provided he recovers from a knock to the hip.

Grant Ferguson comes back into contention for a replacements slot after being unavailable for the opening two fixtures.

Prop Alastair Livesey is rested as part of Fylde’s rotation policy.

The front row battle should be interesting – and a family affair.

Pete Altham, a former Wharfedale player, packs down against his younger brother Joe.

Nelson said: “That will be an important side-show to the main event of the day.

“Wharfedale will be a big test – they are the longest-serving side in the division.

“The team looks to be football-orientated, their back row is strong and they have experience in midfield.

“They know the level that they play at, but we will play the game the way it suits us, whether it is Jersey, Cinderford or Wharfedale.”

Fylde: Kenyon; Royle, C Briers, Waywell, Brennand; Collins, Depledge; Lavelle, Loney, Altham, Rawlings, J Beaumont, Stewart, Stephenson, S Beaumont. Replacements: Griffiths, Holmes, Thompson, Arnold or Ferguson, Binham, McShane. Kick-off 3pm.