FYLDE RFC refuse to risk second row forward Paul Arnold in tomorrow’s home clash with Loughborough Students, which bears all the hallmarks of an entertaining 80 minutes in National League One.
Arnold has been troubled with an Achilles injury, and although he had an extra week to recover because Fylde had no fixture last Saturday, coach Mark Nelson says he is not ready to face Loughborough.
Nelson said: “It is an injury Paul has never had before and he was not able to run in training on Tuesday. It is a tricky injury, particularly for a big fellow like him.
“If we played him and it went again, then we would be back to square one and it would negate all the good he got out of resting the injury in the first place.”
Fylde are able to call on a high-quality replacement in the shape of Josh Beaumont.
Stephen Briers could figure on the bench for Fylde following knee and rib injuries.
Loughborough arrive on the Fylde coast fourth-bottom, but Nelson says it will be a “very tough” encounter for his seventh-placed side as the students have enjoyed an upsurge in fortunes of late.
The Fylde coach added: “I have told the players that whatever else Loughborough will be, they will be very fit and we will have to be at our best to match that.
“They are finding their feet at this level and recently put 70 points past Sedgley Park.”
After promotion last season, Loughborough suffered a baptism of fire, losing their first six matches.
However, they have turned the situation round, winning five of their last six, including their last three matches on the road (at Macclesfield, Tynedale and Richmond).
Fylde (probable): Viney; Rath, C Briers, Barrow, Brennand; Johnson, De La Harpe; Birchall, Roddam, Lavelle, Banks, J Beaumont, Stewart, McGinnis, S Beaumont; replacements: Altham, Burtonwood, Vernon, Wallwork, Kenyon/S Briers/Spragg.