Fylde name their new leaders

Greg Nicholls is a former full-time pro
Greg Nicholls is a former full-time pro
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Experienced scrum-half Greg Nicholls will skipper Fylde RFC in the 2017-18 campaign.

His number two will be prop forward Adam Lewis, who has been named vice-captain.

Nicholls, a former full-time professional with Bristol, London Welsh and Plymouth Albion, takes over the captaincy from centre Chris Briers, who did the job for two seasons.

A doctor, Nicholls, 33, re-joined Fylde, a club for whom he played as a mini-junior, in the 2014-5 campaign since which time he has chalked up 54 first team appearances.

Lewis was also a mini-junior at the club and made his first team debut in the 2006/7 season.

He left to join Sedgley Tigers in 2010 before returning to his local club in 2013.

Lewis has made 158 appearances in the Fylde first team shirt.

He earned senior representative honours for England Counties in 2014 and has been a regular part of the successful Lancashire squad over recent seasons including starting in the cup-winning 2017 squad last Saturday when the Red Rose beat Cornwall 19-8 in the final of the county championship at Twickenham.

Briers has stepped down from the captaincy to concentrate on his playing performance next season.

Coach Warren Spragg thanked Briers for his contribution, adding: “Everyone at the club and in the wider rugby community has massive respect for Chris and his achievements on and off the pitch.

“He will continue to offer leadership and support to younger players in the squad.”

Spragg added: “We’re excited by the appointment of Greg and Adam and what they can bring to these roles.

“They are both strong, excellent characters who embody the values of the club.

“Both grew up locally and have close connections with their previous schools, Greg as an Old Arnoldian, Adam as an Old Kirkhamian, where they learned their rugby.

“Both Greg and Adam are vastly experienced on and off the pitch. Adam’s progress was suitably rewarded with an England Counties cap a regular place in the Lancashire squad and Greg, of course, has many years of being a full-time player with Premiership and Championship clubs.

“Greg has made the difficult transition from professional sportsman to become a medical doctor. Both are role models.

Chairman of rugby, Roger Banks, added: “I’ve known Greg since he was a teenager and I couldn’t be more pleased. He and his family are immensely proud of his appointment to skipper the team. He is a natural leader and has been a great help to me in my few months as chairman of rugby. Adam has matured over the last few seasons to be so very consistent on the pitch and a popular member of the squad amongst players and supporters.”