Irish eyes on proving worth at Fylde

Michael Lawton
Michael Lawton
Share this article
Have your say

Fylde RFC are set to augment their ranks with goal-kicking winger or full-back Michael Lawton, who was part of the Ballynahinch squad that won promotion to the top flight of Irish rugby last season.

Lawton is keen to try his hand in English rugby on his arrival in the autumn to study at college in this country.

The 23-year-old approached Fylde and had a look at the facilities this summer while on a trip to Lancashire.

He has an impressive cv in his home country and Fylde are loathe to turn down the chance to have a look at him.

The downside is that he would only be available around mid-September.

Lawton played a major part in Ballynahinch’s successful season.

He also played in the same Ireland U19 squad as Kieron Brookes. Preparations at Fylde are continuing apace for the start of the campaign, which opens in earnest with a friendly against Sale Sharks at the Woodlands on Friday night.

Scrum-half Ryan de la Harpe has become the latest player to pledge his allegiance to Fylde in the coming season.

Fylde have welcomed the development and say that the player will also undertake some work in the community on behalf of the club.

One player who won’t be linking up with Fylde, after all, is former Salford City Reds RL forward Ben Gledhill.

He had been training at Fylde, but he has just started a job in the Leeds area and the travel arrangements no longer make any move feasible.

Coach Mark Nelson said: “Ben did well with us, but he had a lot to learn about the game and had not even been up in the air (at line-outs) before he trained with us.”

Meantime, Fylde are still somewhat up in the air about how forwards Steve McGinnis and Alex Loney.

Their availability is unclear because of outside commitments.

Forward Tom Lavelle has been added to the Fylde squad already named for the match with Sale Sharks, which kicks off at 7.15pm.