FYLDE RU have missed out in a bid to recruit Caldy’s Andrew Soutar to the Woodlands.
In the eve of tomorrow’s attractive, top-of-the-table clash at home to main rivals Loughborough Students (3pm), Fylde revealed they had attempted to secure the winger, with a view to converting him into a back row forward, but the move stalled.
Coach Mark Nelson said any switch had been ruled out because Soutar’s wife had started a new job.
He added: “I have to say that I am very happy with the squad, and any players we sign would be to add strength in depth, and not to replace anyone.
“If I could go through the rest of the season with the squad we had and not get any injuries, I would be very happy with that.”
Fylde are top of the table, and regardless of the result against their second-placed rivals, they would still be leading the way by 5pm tomorrow.
Asked if tomorrow’s clash was the game of the season, Nelson responded: “People were saying that about our match at Leicester Lions last Saturday.
“The reason we did not get euphoric about beating Leicester was because we knew that we had a big game coming up against Loughborough.
“Regardless of the result tomorrow, it is not the be-all and end-all of our season, and it won’t decide the title.”
Loughborough is the main sports university in the country, so the team that visits Ansdell tomorrow will be as fit and well prepared as any side in the land, including Premiership clubs, because of the standard of the state-of-the-art facilities on offer.
Sounding like an ad-man, Nelson predicted that whatever the result, he expected the spectators to be in for a treat.
He said: “I don’t think Loughborough will come here and try to bully us.
“Like us, they will try to run the ball in hand, and I can’t think of anything better for a spectator than to come to Fylde to watch two good teams trying to play an open game, and at a reasonable price.”
Jason Robinson, yet to figure on the losing side for Fylde, comes into the side on the wing as a direct replacement for Nick Royle, who is in New Zealand on international duty with the England Sevens team.
Richard Kenyon plays at full-back, while Alan Holmes continues at hooker in the continued absence of Jonny Roddam, who is sidelined with a calf injury.
Nelson said: “If we had played Roddam and he got injured again, we could be looking at him being out for six weeks.”
Nick King is still absent with a foot injury, so John Wells partners the fit-again Paul Arnold in the second row. Grant Ferguson plays in his preferred back row spot.
Fylde: Kenyon; Robinson, Briers, Waywell, Brennand; Collins, Wallwork; Livesey, Holmes, Lavelle, Arnold, Wells, Ferguson, Stephenson, S Beaumont. Replacements: Thoma, Aikman, Sutherland, Russell