Lancs make sweeping changes

Fylde's Ryan De La Harpe in action against Blackheath.
Fylde's Ryan De La Harpe in action against Blackheath.
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Lancashire have made radical changes to their side as they prepare to take on Yorkshire tomorrow in rugby’s County Championship at Fylde RFC (kick-off 3pm).

The Red Rose county won their opener against Durham last Saturday, though a number of Fylde players are available tomorrow and come into the side - that was not the case in the opening county match.

A contingent from Fylde was on club duty in the National League One clash at Macclesfield.

Head coach Mark Nelson said that the selectors had to perform something of a delicate balancing act in finalising the line-up for the visit of Yorkshire.

He said: “Every player who makes his first appearance for Lancashire gets a county tie, and there were 15 handed out for the Durham match, which is unprecedented.

“They did a good job and it just shows the depths of talent that there is within the county - it has never been known before that so many commemorative ties were handed out in one match and they all deserved one.

“We have to strike a balance between being fair to the players who did so well at Durham while fielding the strongest available side and that is what we have tried to do.

“Down the years if someone has played rugby for their county, they will look back on it as being one of the most significant moments in their careers.

“The team represents all Lancashire, not just a select few clubs.”

Nelson continued: “Although we won our first game, we are now coming up against the traditional opponents we have each year, so after this Saturday, it is another massive ask when play Cheshire.

“Hopefully, there will be a great turnout from the Lancashire rugby community - the side represents all the county.

Fylde’s Chris Briers, Ryan De La Harpe, Pete Altham, Danny Birchall and Steve McGinnis are in the Lancashire team.

*Thornton Cleveleys rugby club celebrated a successful season with a presentation night ceremony at Fleetwood Town FC.

The following awards were handed out: David Beardsall (first team try of the season) Dane Powell (second team try) Ryan Haywood (first team tackler) Rick Brown (second team tackler) Thomas Cockroft (most improved first teamer) Elliott Hamilton (second team most improved player) Joe Connell (man of steel) Marcus Pinnington (unsung hero) Michael Docherty (first team player’s player of the season) Harry Stephenson (second team player’s player of the season) Chris Clapp (first team coaches’ player of the season) Oli Kelly (second team coaches’ player of the season)

The awards took place at the end of season in which both first and second teams earned promotion.

Lancashire:Taylor (Preston Grasshoppers) Royle (Vale Of Lune) C Briers (Fylde) Ward (Preston) Riley, Collins (Sedgley Tigers) De La Harpe, Birchall (Fylde) Mills (Preston) Altham (Fylde) McGowan (Sedgley Tigers) Gore, Murray, Moon (Preston) McGinnis (Fylde). Replacements: Griffiths (Fylde) Nugent (formerly Caldy) Stewart (Fylde) Baines (Preston) Johnson, Webb (Fylde) Rylance (Liverpool St