Red Rose rugby can raise spirits of Fylde players says Spragg

Lancashire U20 captain Nick Ashcroft
Lancashire U20 captain Nick Ashcroft

Fylde RFC will be pleased to see the back of this National League season after tomorrow’s final match at Cambridge – but head coach Warren Spragg  is pleased the campaign isn’t over for many of his players.

Fylde RFC will be pleased to see the back of this National League season after tomorrow’s final match at Cambridge – but head coach Warren Spragg is pleased the campaign isn’t over for many of his players.

Representing Lancashire in the County Championship provides a welcome change of scene for Fylde players at the end of a calamitous league campaign which has seen their seven seasons in National One end with the club cast adrift at the bottom.

But some light at the end of the tunnel has been provided by representative rugby, with eight Fylde players in the Lancashire squad which begins its defence of the Bill Beaumont Cup away to Northumberland a week tomorrow.

The final group game on the road to Twickenham is at the Woodlands against Cheshire a fortnight later.

Also next weekend, seven Fylde players feature in the Lancashire squad for the Under-20 County Championship final against NLD (Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Derbyshore) at Birmingham Moseley.

Fylde’s Nick Ashcroft will captain that team and has been chosen alongside clubmates Ben Gregory and Woodlands player of the season Tom Carleton for the following weekend’s North Under-20 trials, which could lead to England selection.

Spragg is also part of the senior county set-up spearheaded by former Fylde supremo Mark Nelson and says representative rugby is giving his players a massive lift.

After the first Lancashire session he told The Gazette: “It’s a different environment and you could see the weight of the world wasn’t on the shoulders of the Fylde players. They were confident and expressed themselves.”

Yesterday he added: “It’s been a really testing season for our group and we’re looking forward to putting that behind us, joining up with lads from other clubs and putting together some wins for Lancashire which will lift our lads, who have trained really well this week.”

But first comes Fylde’s trip to Cambridge tomorrow, this season’s last chance to halt a losing run which has now stretched to 16 games and almost five months.

A high-scoring encounter could well be on the cards on the evidence of last Saturday’s 81-33 defeat by Loughborough Students as Fylde seek only their fourth win of the season.