Aussie Alex has faith in Fylde's relegation fight

Dolly - in the side to face Loughborough on Saturday
Dolly - in the side to face Loughborough on Saturday
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In Fylde RFC’s current predicament at the foot of National League One, it’s a question of all hands to the pump allied to the ability to be adaptable.

And one player who fills the bill on that score is Australian Alex Dolly, who has joined the club this season and has been asked to fill for both half-back roles, at fly-half and scrum-half.

And when regular number 10 Greg Smith has been absent through injury, Dolly has assumed the role of kicker too.

To continue the all-rounder theme, Dolly wields a mean willow and in the rugby off-season he bats for the Flowery Field club, which is based in Hyde and plays in the Greater Manchester Cricket League.

Next up for Dolly and his team-mates is Saturday's trip to Loughborough Students.

The aim for Fylde is two-fold – to collect points and drag their opponents into the relegation argument.

Dolly, whose brother Nic is a hooker on the books of Premiership side Sale Sharks, said: “We have spoken of how important these matches are leading up to Christmas to stand us in good stead for the New Year and on towards the end of the season.”

Fylde are still nine points adrift of the safety-zone at the foot of the table.

Dolly (right) is taking a positive attitude to the tough task in front of the Fylde squad, which does not have the greatest strength in depth.

He said: “There is still 100 per cent belief in the team and as for myself I don’t have a preferred position.

“I am willing to play in any position that will benefit the team.

“I will go anywhere that I am needed, whether it is number nine or 10 or whatever.”

Dolly came over to this country in April to take up his league cricket engagement, having played for North Sydney Cricket Club back home.

He said: “I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to come to Fylde and I have tried to take the opportunity with both hands. I am looking to take every chance I can and I am really enjoying it.”

Of his rugby background in Australia, Dolly said: “I played local representative, city, country and inter-state rugby.

“The cricket took over and I gave up rugby for a year. Now I have come back, I have fallen in love with it again

“Rugby will take precedence until the season finishes and then it will be back to cricket.”

As for Saturday's trip to Loughborough, Fylde will again send out a young side.

With the experienced Chris Briers sidelined through injury, the average age of the 20-strong squad is 23.

Loughborough have had far from a settled side this season – they have used 49 players, compared to Fylde’s 33.

Fylde: Carleton; Hadfield, Wilkinson, Fowden, Grimes; Dolly, Nicholls; Richardson, Burtonwood, Lewis, Garrod, Parkinson, Vernon, Hopwood, Fairbrother. Replacements: Joyner, Gregory, Corrie, Ashcroft, Smith.