FYLDE RFC coach Mark Nelson has warned his players that struggling Macclesfield will pose a fierce challenge when they arrive at the Woodlands tomorrow for a North West derby.
Macclesfield are battling for their lives as they lie second bottom of National League One, but Nelson says the lowly standing matters not a jot.
He said: “We face probably the two toughest back-to-back matches we will encounter all season against Macclesfield tomorrow, and away to Tynedale next week.
“Both sides are desperate for league points and I expect Macclesfield to throw everything at us.”
Fylde give a debut to winger Ben Rath, reward for some promising performances for the second team.
Nelson said: “He has warranted his place based on his performances for the Hawks and for his enthusiasm and commitment in training.”
Warren Spragg was not considered as he missed a training session.
Centre Stephen Briers is out with a rib injury, while Sam Beaumont is still two weeks’ away from a return because of hip injury.
Fylde had hoped to include forward Harrison Collins in their squad, but did not get permission from Durham University, where he plays and studies.
Fylde chairman Andy Hiles has issued a rallying cry to rugby enthusiasts prior to tomorrow’s clash.
He said: “This is Saturday’s top game in the North West and I would encourage the sports lovers in the area to come along and see what is likely to a titanic battle of high-quality rugby.”
Fylde: Viney; Rath, C Briers, Barrow, Brennand; Kenyon, Wallwork; Birchall, Roddam, Lavelle, Arnold, Banks, Maher. Vernon, Stewart. Replacements: Wild, Burtonwood, AN Other, De La Harpe, Johnson.