None quicker for Twickers

FYLDE RU winger Oliver Brennand will join the Lancashire side on the Twickenham trail tomorrow.

The prolific try-scoring winger has recovered from a shoulder injury and has been added to the Red Rose side for the northern title decider with Northumberland in the County Championship at Sedgley Park.

Brennand's presence takes the Fylde contingent in the 21-man line-up to six tomorrow, when a win by Lancashire will cement a place at Twickenham in the final of the Bill Beaumont Cup the following weekend.

Lancashire coach Mark Nelson said: "Oli has seen specialists, and they have given him the all-clear."

Fylde's Steve Nutt will after all skipper the side from full-back.

After scoring the stoppage-time try that helped Lancashire to beat Yorkshire at the Woodlands last Saturday, Nutt indicated he would miss the Northumberland match to attend a wedding in the North-East on the same day.

However, he has sacrificed that commitment and will lead Lancashire instead.

Nelson said: "Steve did a lot of soul-searching because the people to be married are close friends of his." Fylde director of rugby Nelson has more of less finalised his side, though his plans were thrown into some disruption when Mark Turner (Caldy) suffered a dead leg in training.

Richard Kenyon of Fylde is one of the candidates to come in should Turner fail a fitness test but no decision has been made.

Nelson says that Lancashire are taking nothing for granted in the run-up to the match with Northumberland. "We were in the same position last year – top of the table before our last match – we then contrived to lose to Yorkshire, and because it is only a four-team league we finished third and missing out on Twickenham.

"We have to regard tomorrow's match as a semi-final – if we win, we are through to Twickenham. It is as simple as that.

"Northumberland are no mugs and still have a chance of going to Twickenham themselves. It is a big incentive to all our players to get to Twickenham.

"Whatever rugby nation a player is from, the ultimate objective is to play at Twickenham, and only a very small percentage of players get to achieve that in their careers."

Lancashire: Steve Nutt (Fylde, captain); Nick Royle (Fylde), Matt Riley (Sedgley P ), Mark Turner (Caldy) Oli Brennand (Fylde); Alex Davies (Plymouth A), Ryan de Laharpe (West Park); Petrus Du Plessis (Sedgley Park), David Ward (Sale), Robert O'Donnell (Sale), Louis McGowan (Rotherham Titans), Sam Beaumont (Fylde), Juan Crous (Sedgley P ), Daniel Baines (Macclesfield), Sebastian Moss (Manchester); replacements: Kieran Brookes (Fylde), Charlie Baleirara (West P ), Andrew Dockray (Preston G ), Garth Dew (Manchester) Craig Aikman (Fylde) Russell Flynn (Preston G).