Fylde Rugby Club coach Mark Nelson is in upbeat mood, even though his side lost their friendly against Premiership giants Sale Sharks.
Speaking of the 36-7 reverse, Nelson said: “We did well to hold Sale to 7-0 at half-time. It was at that point that Sale brought on their big guns and we took ours off!
“I was pleased with the way we defended. In the first half, Sale got themselves into positions near our line where they would have expected to score against Premiership opponents but we managed to keep them out.
“Sale are full-time and have trained since early in June, while we only had eight training sessions prior to the match.
“I thought that in Paul Arnold we had the best forward on the pitch, and you have to remember how many players we were missing on the night.
“We couldn’t call on Roger Banks, Scott Barrow, Richard Kenyon, Ben Vernon, Alex Loney, Steve McGinnis or Sam Beaumont.”
Nelson said Banks was particularly disappointed to miss out.
The Fylde coach added: “Roger was devastated but he had a groin injury which flared up.
“It hit him particularly had that he wasn’t able to play against a team like Sale as he had been so looking forward to it.”
Another absentee was centre Waywell, who has yet to commit himself to Fylde for the coming season.
In any event, he will not be available for the opening months of the National League One season.
Nelson said: “Mike has just opened a gym in Liverpool and he is putting his heart and soul into that. Even if he commits himself again, he wouldn’t be available to us before Christmas.
“It gives a chance for Charles Hough, one of a number of young players who are coming through.”
Vale of Lune scrum-half Jordan Dorrington is continuing to train with Fylde.
He was one of three scrum-halves tried out by Fylde in the Sale match.
Tony Thoma, a Cypriot international prop,is the new player-coach of the second XV, Fylde Hawks. He replaces Adam Jackson, who has stood down from the role.