Skipper Stewart misses big date

Stewart - out with broken ribs
Stewart - out with broken ribs
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Fylde’s ‘captain courageous’ Evan Stewart is out of Fylde’s match of the season at home to runaway leaders Doncaster Knights on Saturday

The back row forward is out for between three and six weeks after breaking a rib in the defeat at Worthing last Saturday.

Coach Mark Nelson said: “Evan got the injury 35 minutes into the Worthing game.

“Captain courageous that he is, Evan carried on, but he got another knock and by the time he came off, he couldn’t breath properly.”

Another absentee tomorrow is second row Gareth Gore, who is sidelined with concussion.

Flanker Cameron Thompson is ruled out with a broken toe, while Ben Vernon needs a check on his back injury before he is passed fit.

Sam Beaumont returns after recovering from a long term shoulder injury - Steve McGinnis also returns on the flank.

Winger Warren Spragg has been nursing a hand injury, and Ben Rath stands by if he can’t make it.

Centre Chris Briers will skipper the side in the absence of Stewart, but he too has been troubled with an ankle and knuckle injury.

Nelson said of the Doncaster visit: “It is going to be our biggest match of the season, and if there is one match that any rugby follower in this area should want to see, it is this one.

“Doncaster are the clear league leaders and I don’t think we will be playing them next season as they look as though they are on their way back to the Championship after only one season away.

“Doncaster train full time and unlike us they don’t have to rely on players taking time off work to play and when they need to fill a particular position they can go out and sign a replacement - that is why it is such a great challenge for us tomorrow.

“But is one of the games our players should look forward to, and they certainly will look forward to it.”

Fylde: Viney; Spragg/Rath, C Briers, S Briers, Brennand; Johnson, De La Harpe; Birchall, Burtonwood, Lewis, Arnold, Robinson, Vernon, McGinnis, Beaumont. Replacements: Griffiths, Rylance, Barrow, Webb, Maher. Kick-off 3pm.