Royle leaves Fylde... for now

Nick Royle
Nick Royle
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BLISTERING back Nick Royle has left Fylde RFC for Vale of Lune but plans are already being set in motion for him to make a rapid return.

No sooner had the former England Sevens and Barbarians winger or full-back signed for the Lancaster-based club than Fylde coach Mark Nelson was plotting his return to the Woodlands.

Vale of Lune play three levels below Fylde in North One West – the same division as Fleetwood RU – but, according to Nelson, they made 29-year-old Royle “an offer he could not refuse”.

The prolific try-scorer is expected to make his Lune debut in Saturday’s league match away to Sale.

The opposition is ironic as Royle had been striving to win a contract with the Sale club, having previously featured for their second-string, Sale Jets.

Nelson told The Gazette: “I would like to stress that I see this as a short-term arrangement, and that in the long-term I still regard Nick as a Fylde player.

“I have a scheme in place which may enable Nick to make a quick return. I am trying to create the environment for him to play here long-term, but in the interim period he will be appearing for Vale of Lune.”

Lune made approaches for Royle over the summer and Nelson added: “This has been brewing for some time but I has assumed he would join Sale. I was disappointed for Nick when that deal collapsed.”

While Nelson, a former Vale of Lune player himself, tries to put a financial deal in place to facilitate Royle’s return, Fylde will be without a player who has scored 155 tries in 146 first-team appearances since signing for the club in 2006.

Royle, who started his rugby career in league with Widnes Vikings and Warrington Wolves, was contracted with England Sevens until this season.

Nelson added: “I would expect Nick to be back in Fylde colours in the not too distant future. Put it like this – I don’t expect him to challenge my record as top try-scorer for Vale!”