Fylde’s eight on Twickers trail

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Mark Nelson has named eight of his Fylde RFC players in the 23-man squad for Saturday’s Bill Beaumont County Championship Cup clash against Warwickshire Sedgley Park.

Peter Altham and Grant Ferguson are Fylde newcomers in a squad which includes club team-mates Paul Arnold, Steve McGinnis, Stephen Briers, Oli Brennand, Steve Collins and Mike Waywell.

This weekend’s 3.45pm opener is followed by group games against Yorkshire (at Fylde) and at Cheshire on the following two Saturdays, as the defending champions bid for a return to Twickenham.

Nelson said: “We anticipate a very tough series of games. However, our squad is in very good spirits and they all love playing for Lancashire.

“We are all aware of the challenge to come and, as defending champions, we are there to be shot at. My primary focus is to ensure that Lancashire maintains its status at this top level of the County Championship. With just three Northern group games, there is no room for error.”

Lancashire squad: Forwards: Peter Altham (Fylde), Paul Arnold (Fylde), Charlie Baleirara (Sale Sharks), Sam Beaumont (Fylde), Matt Charters (Preston G), Grant Ferguson (Fylde), Simon Griffiths (Liverpool St Helens), Mark Rylance (Caldy), Alex Loney (Rotherham), Steve McGinnis (Fylde), Louis McGowan (Rotherham), Martin O’Keefe (Birkenhead Park), Gareth Rawlings (Longton).

Backs: Chris Briers (Doncaster), Steve Briers (Fylde), Oliver Brennand (Fylde), Steve Collins (Fylde), Alex Davies (Plymouth), Tom Hughes (Preston G), Chris Johnson (Huddersfield), Steve Lowry (Birkenhead Park), Mark Turner (LSH), Mike Waywell (Fylde).

n Fylde have agreed a two-year partnership with kit manufacturers Kukri, which will see the two combine to promote the club, their mini-section and rugby in the region.

Kukri have designed a traditional new playing kit and a modern leisure range.