RFU Championship News

Friday 25th

25th November 2011

 
 

RFU Championship News Friday 25th November 2011

RFU Championship News. Previews of all the Round 12 games. All the teams plus news and comment

Friday 25 November 2011 Saturday 26 November 2011
Leeds Carnegie v Rotherham 20:00

Sunday 27 November 2011
London Scottish v Bristol 14:00
Nottingham v Moseley 15:00
Bedford v Esher 15:00
Doncaster v Cornish Pirates 15:00
Plymouth Albion v London Welsh 15:00

RFU Preview

 

RFU Preview

Rotherham can look forward to a second Yorkshire derby in the space of six days when they travel to play Leeds Carnegie on Friday evening. Having eased to a 23-10 win over Doncaster on Saturday thanks to two stunning solo tries from flanker Robin Copeland, Andre Bester’s men will head up the M1 confident they can complete a league double over Leeds. The Titans beat the relegated Premiership side 22-18 at Clifton Lane on the second weekend in September to continue their good record in meetings between the two local rivals. Rotherham have won six out of the last ten league fixtures.

Nottingham boast an even better head- to- head record in fixtures against Moseley with the Green & Whites coming out on top in each of the last eight league games. Moseley’s last win came on 2nd September 2007.

Cornish Pirates, who scored five tries and 33 points away to Bristol yet still came out second best in Sunday’s top- of- the- table clash, are on a run of six straight wins against Doncaster. It is nearly two years since the Knights tasted success in the Championship against the men from the Duchy.

Plymouth are in dire need of a pick- me- up after slipping one place in the league table to 10th. But London Welsh, their opponents at Brickfields on Saturday, have enjoyed the upper hand in recent years with three wins and a draw in the last four meetings. Elsewhere, London Scottish entertain league leaders Bristol and Bedford are at home to Esher.


Friday 25 November 2011

Leeds Carnegie v Rotherham Titans 20:00

Leeds Carnegie

 

Leeds Carnegie Head Coach Diccon Edwards has made three changes to his side for tonight’s massive clash with Rotherham Titans at Headingley Carnegie,.

All three changes come in the front row with USA international Mike MacDonald returning to the starting line up after playing the second half last week at Esher, skipper Andy Titterrell starting at hooker and David Young coming in at tight head prop.

On the bench there is a welcome return from injury for Danny Paul, the club’s longest serving player, who is set to make his first appearance of the season after recovering from a hip and Achilles injury.

www.leedscarnegie.com

Diccon Edwards writing in this week’s Carnegie call says  Having watched Rotherham's recent games and remembering back to our game at Clifton Lane earlier this season, I think that the Titans are the most physical team in the Championship.

Being hard and tough seems to be in the DNA of the Rotherham club going back to the time when I played against them.

We have had some great battles down the years with Rotherham coming out on top on more occasions than we would like. Hopefully we can produce a good enough performance to match them and secure a win for Leeds this time around.”

www.leedscarnegie.com

The Yorkshire Post says that Diccon Edwards has declared himself pleased with the progress his Leeds Carnegie side have made as they prepare to enter the second half of the regular season.

Edwards said: “We have made good progress in the first half of the season. We have won games we have not had a right to win.

“But we have got a winning mentality and have shown we can perform under pressure.

Full Story www.yorkshirepost.co.uk

Rotherham Titans

 

Rotherham Titans are expected to name the same squad that beat Doncaster Knights in a very physical battle at Clifton Lane last Saturday, as they prepare for another tough Yorkshire derby at Leeds Carnegie.

Titans’ preparations have gone well this week; however there are a number of players carrying the usual bumps and bruises that you would expect at this stage of the season. Andre Bester may have to tweak his side should one or two of them not be quite ready and they may be late changes as a result.

Titans are fully aware of the difficult challenge Leeds will present at Headingley Carnegie, particularly as the West Yorkshire outfit are on a 6-match winning spree and have a number of key players returning after injury.

The overall head to head in league rugby sees Rotherham holding an 8-5 advantage and Titans are optimistic of repeating their early season victory of Carnegie when the two sides clash on Friday.

Titans Head Coach Andre Bester is conscious of the difficult task ahead and remarked, “I’ve said the toughest assignment in the Championship, in terms of places to go is Pirates away, there’s no doubt about that. But the best team right now in terms of form and ability is Leeds. They are very professional, very experienced; they have exceptional experience all over the park.

“They have lots of guys that have played at a much higher level than our boys; they have Premiership experience and lots of big game experience. It’s taken them a little bit of time to adjust to the Championship, but they have acclimatised now and they are perceived as the best side in the division.

“It is a big assignment for us, but I’ve never turned up at places not wanting to win and I’ve never turned up at places not seeking the win and that’s the only thing we are looking at when we travel to Leeds.”

www.rotherhamrugby.co.uk

Speaking to the Star, Bester said: “Leeds have some experienced players and they are a good side who are improving and to say that everyone is young is wrong.

Players like prop Mike MacDonald and back row forward Ryan Burrows know their way around, so we are expecting the toughest of matches.

www.thestar.co.uk

Leeds Carnegie
15. Tommy Bell 14. Lee Blackett 13. Iain Thornley 12. Joe Barker 11. Michael Stephenson
10. Joe Ford 9. Robbie Shaw
1. Mike MacDonald 2. Andy Titterrell (c) 3. David Young 4. Tom Denton 5. Dan Hemingway
6. Ryan Burrows 7. Chris Walker 8. Jacob Rowan

Replacements
16. Phil Nilsen 17. Sam Lockwood 18. Mo Mustafa 19. Richard Beck
20. Danny Paul 21. Dan White 22. Pete Lucock

Rotherham Titans: 
15 Tom Foden, 14 Ed Tellwright, 13 Dave McCall, 12 Pale Nonu, 11 Shane Monahan
10 Garry Law, 9 Jimmy Williams
1 Shane Cahill, 2 Ted Stagg, 3 Ben Hooper, 4 Sam Dickinson (Capt.), 5 Adrian Griffiths
6 Robin Copeland, 7 Sean Dougall, 8 Semisi Taulava.

Replacements From:
16 Dan Baines, 17 Jamie Kilbane, 18 Rob O’Donnell, 19 Barney Maddison, 20 Steve Hamilton, 21 Matt Rhodes, 22 Cliffie Hodgson, 23 Carl Kirwan, 24 Byron Godfrey.


Saturday 26 November 2011

Bedford v Esher 15:00

Bedford

 

Bedford Blues are hoping to make it two in a row at Goldington Road for the first time this season as Esher come through the gates on Saturday afternoon

Bedford and Esher have already met twice this season with the Blues holding a 100 per cent record with a 55-6 win at Moseley Road in the league and a 62-30 victory at Goldington Road in the British & Irish Cup.

Despite those results, Bedford’s director of rugby Mike Rayer is expecting quite a different game this weekend with Esher showing a vast improvement in form in recent weeks.

Rayer said: “Our preparation has been no different this week to any other, we have done our homework on Esher and have noted a significant improvement in their game.

Make no mistake about it they will beat someone very soon, our aim is to make sure it’s not us. They have several of their key players back from injury so it will be another tough Championship game where we will need to execute our core skills well.”

The Blues make three changes to the team that started at Moseley last weekend with Jamie Lennard starting at fly half, Nico Steenkamp at loose head and Chris Locke in at hooker for the injured Neil Cochrane. There is a return to the bench for Saracens dual registered hooker Harry Allen as well as Billy Johnson who replaces the unavailable Don Barrell

www.bedfordrugby.co.uk

  Mike Rayer speaking to Bedford Today said “People have asked questions about us and suggested we’re not as good as last year but we’re sitting second in the table and scored the most points so we can’t be doing much wrong.

“We’re nowhere near the finished article and we’ve got some tough games coming up but we’ve got to focus on Esher. I don’t think we’re a million miles away.

“We’ve got to keep improving. We’d like to be getting near our potential each weak but sometimes you have to go through painful lessons like Melrose or Leeds.

www.bedfordtoday.co.uk

Esher

 

Esher skipper Chris Goodman insists Esher will relish the challenge of taking on his old club Bedford on Saturday.

The back rower was delighted with the attitude shown in the narrow 20-15 home defeat against Leeds that secured a first point of the season.

And No 8 Goodman says the struggling Surrey side are eager to make up for the 55-6 home thrashing by the Blues in September.

Bedford are riding high in second place in the Championship but have lost two of their five home games and been held to a draw by Doncaster at Goldington Road.

However, they have inflicted some heavy defeats on Esher, beating them 53-15 and 31-9 last season and Goodman knows the enormity of the task.

He said: "Bedford are a great club and it will be good fun to go back there and get stuck into them and really challenge them.

"They will be very strong at home and we are going to need a very solid defence. We need that mentality and work-rate and if we can do that we will have a good chance against Bedford. Anything is possible."

Esher, despite the late withdrawals of Jamie and Phil Mackenzie and Andy Wright, showed tremendous character against Leeds and were controversially denied a first victory of the season when Perry Parker was adjudged not to have grounded the ball in a dramatic final play of the game.

Five Rob Kirby penalties had kept Esher in touch while the Yorkshire side replied with a try and four penalties from Tommy Bell plus a Joe Ford drop goal.

Esher chief Mike Schmid admitted the decision not to award the Parker try was cruel. He said: "Certainly my boys are 100 per cent convinced it was a try and the referee missed it, which is disappointing.

"It’s gone now but we’d like some positive luck and get one of those calls. The boys deserved it. I thought they were fantastic and I’m gutted we didn’t get the benefit of the call that time.

"We’ve got to make sure next week is a better performance. Bedford is one of the toughest games any team in this league has. But again, nobody expected us to get anything from the Leeds game and we did.

Nobody expects us to get anything out of Bedford and we’ve got to go there determined to fight hard again."

Skipper Goodman admitted his side felt the one point from Leeds was little to show for their efforts. He said: "It was a frustrating game because we felt we could have got more out of it.

"We knew Leeds were a quality team and they have the ability to finish games off. But great credit to our lads, we stuck at it for 80 minutes which we haven’t done enough of this season consistently.

"It came right down to the wire but unfortunately we didn’t quite have enough. We have a great bunch of lads and when it comes to effort you can’t fault them. We are improving game by game.

"It’s good to get that first point on the board and it’s something to build on. There’s no doubt we’ve been incredibly unlucky this season with injuries but we’ve got some great players to come back.

"We all know the play-off system now. Love it or loath it, that’s what we’ve got to deal so we must make sure we peak at the right time of the season."

Esher will need the same commitment at Goldington Road on Saturday if they are to take anything from one of the Championship’s top clubs.

Schmid added: "We showed courage and determination against Leeds. In terms of energy, effort and physicality I thought we were the better team.

"Injuries have been a factor in our results this season but we’ve still got 22 guys taking the pitch every week and we’ve got to make sure our performance is worthy of a Championship rugby team.

"There have been a few occasions where it certainly hasn’t been but with the exception of Bedford at home, we’ve been in every single game.

If we keep defending and hitting people like that we are going to win games. It was a massive step forward."

Schmid also praised lock Paul Barker, who impressed on his first-team comeback while prop Dave Millard made his long-awaited return for the Seconds

Schmid said: "Paul coming back gave us great energy. The guys know he’s going to do the right thing at the right time and he inspired the guys around him. The more of those type of players we get back the better we will be."

www.esherrugby.com

Bedford Blues
15. James Pritchard (c) 14. Mark Kohler 13. Brendan Burke 12. Tom Bedford 11. Josh Bassett
10. Jamie Lennard 9. Darryl Veenendaal
1. Nico Steenkamp 2. Chris Locke 3. Phil Boulton 4. Mike Howard 5. Sean Tomes
6. Alex Rae 7. Sacha Harding 8. Paul Tupai

Replacements:
16. Harry Allen, 17. Dan Seal, 18. Sam Pailor, 19. Billy Johnson
20. Stefan Liebenberg, 21. Jake Sharp, 22. Ollie Dodge.

Esher
15 Geoff Griffiths 14 Charlie Walker 13 Phil Mackenzie 12 Arran Cruickshanks 11 Andy Wright
10 Mark Atkinson 9 Jamie Mackenzie
1 Ollie Mines 2 Stuart Mackie 3 James Gethings 4 Paul Barker 5 Perry Parker
6 Mike Macfarlane 7 Peter Synnott 8 Chris Goodman (Capt)

Replacements
16 James Campbell 17 Cameron Zeiss 18 Shawn Renwick 19 Mike Blakeburn
20 Rob Kirby 21 Tom Loizides 22 Andy Garner


Doncaster v Cornish Pirates 15:00

Doncaster Knights

 

Doncaster's Brett Davey has made three changes to his side that narrowly lost to neighbours Rotherham Titans last weekend as the Knights attempt to exact revenge against high-flying Cornish Pirates at Castle Park on Saturday.

The Yorkshire men will be looking to avenge their away defeat to the Pirates back in September, a match which saw the team fight back from a half-time score of 36-11 to come within 8 points of victory in claiming a two bonus points.

David Bradford is welcomed back to the starting line-up in the openside flanker jersey having scored three tries earlier this campaign with Hall Cross School duo Tom Davies and Chris Planchant also returning to the first fifteen.

Full-back David McIlwaine and fly-half Tom Luke both suffered knocks in the local derby, but have been pronounced fit to face the visitors from the West Country as Luke searches to rediscover his man of the match performance in Penzance against his former club.

www.drfc.co.uk

Steve Hossack writing in the Star says the Knights could hardly have had tougher opponents than Cornish Pirates as they strive to avoid a third consecutive home defeat in tomorrow’s clash at Castle Park.

Not only are last season’s beaten play-off finalists looking to go one better this time around, but Knights have never beaten them at home.

“You can look at it two ways,” said Knights’ Scottish winger Dougie Flockhart. “You could expect them to be confident going into the game given their record or you could say that we are due to beat them.

“Obviously you always want to perform well at home, and we don’t want suffer a third successive defeat, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. But just as we don’t think that we are world-beaters if we win four games on the trot we don’t look at losing two games at home as being the end of the world.”

Full Story www.thestar.co.uk

Cornish Pirates

 

The Cornish Pirates will be looking to extend their run of six straight wins against the Knights, who in turn have incentive themselves to get a result to help them stay clear of the bottom four clubs in the division.

The Cornish Pirates side shows a number of changes from the side that started at Bristol last time out. In the forwards Paul Andrew, Rob Elloway and Rudi Brits will form a fresh trio up front, whilst in the back row the one change sees Blair Cowan replacing Chris Morgan, who is named on the bench.

As for the backs, with Jonny Bentley and Ceiron Thomas both unavailable because of injury the versatile Rob Cook moves from full-back to fly-half, where he has featured a number of times this season, and in making his first Championship start Matt Evans will wear the number '15' shirt.

http://cornish-pirates.com

Dick Straughan in the West Briton writes: the Pirates battled to a 39-32 win over the Knights in early September with wing David Doherty amongst the try scorers for the club that day.

Following his outstanding solo try at Bristol which took him up to nine for the season so far Pirates boss Chris Stirling commented on his wing-man: "David Doherty's try (at Bristol) was sheer class. He's been a class player all year and he's a class finisher.

He continued: "There are no easy games in this competition and Doncaster away will be as tough as Bristol away. They are both good sides and there is no week when you can say you can take your foot off the pedal a little bit because you just can't.

Full Story www.thisiscornwall.co.uk

Doncaster Knights
15 David McIlwaine 14 Dougie Flockhart 13 Oli Goss 12 PJ Gidlow 11 Michael Keating
10 Tom Luke 9 Chris Hallam
1 Tom Davies 2 Steve Boden 3 Alex Brown 4 Matt Challinor 5 Glen Kenworthy
6 Latu Makaafi 7 David Bradford 8 Chris Planchant

Replacements
16 Andy Brown 17 Jack Yeandle 18 Dominic Parsons 19 Andy Boyde
20 Michael Noone 21 Lee Audis 22 Fred Burdon

Cornish Pirates:
M. Evans, G. Pointer, D. Locke, A. Suniula, D. Doherty
R. Cook, G. Cattle (capt), K. Marriott, P. Burgess, B. Cowan
I. Nimmo, L. McGlone, R. Brits, R. Elloway, P. Andrew.

Replacements:
A. Paver, T. Cowan-Dickie, L. Fairbrother, C. Morgan
C. Walker-Blair, T. Kessell, S. Hill.

Match Officials
Referee: Llyr Apgeraint-Roberts
Ref Coach Nigel Yates
AR1 Karl Kirkpatrick
AR2 Barry Dalby


Plymouth Albion v London Welsh 15:00

 

Plymouth Albion

 

Plymouth Albion's new director of rugby Peter Drewett is boosted by the return from injury of inspirational captain Sean-Michael Stephen.

Canadian international forward Stephen has missed the last two months with a broken hand, but he has recovered in time to face London Welsh at Brickields Saturday (3pm).

It means for the first time this season Albion are able to field all three of their Canadian internationals - Stephen, Aaron Carpenter and Tyler Hotson.

"It has been tough to watch the last couple of months, especially when results have not been going our way," said Stephen, who joined Albion in 2008. "It was very frustrating not been able to contribute."

Albion, still without injured fly-half Henry Slade, are also able to welcome back long-serving Tongan centre Keni Fisilau from suspension, although he will start on the bench for the game against third-placed Welsh, who have four ex-Albion players in their squad.

www.plymouthalbion.com

The Plymouth Herald reports a new era begins at Albion tomorrow.

For the first time since 1999, former England hooker Graham Dawe will not be in charge of the team.

Instead that responsibility has been passed by the Albion board to Peter Drewett, who in 2006 replaced another giant of West Country rugby Ian Bremner at Exeter.

Drewett is looking forward to getting his Albion career underway.

"I'm delighted to be back in the Championship," said Drewett. "I feel privileged. "I am really enjoying being back working with a group of players on a daily basis."And it is fantastic to have the game at home.

Full Story www.thisisplymouth.co.uk

London Welsh

 

London Welsh head coach Lyn Jones makes six changes, including two positional, for Saturday’s trip to Plymouth.

One of those comes in the back row with club captain Jon Mills returning from injury to make his first appearance since the Exiles’ defeat at Bristol on October 21.

On loan Wasps prop Guillermo Roan comes into the front row at loosehead, with Shawn Pittman switching to tighthead. Billy Moss moves to the bench.

In the backs, Alex Davies and Gordon Ross will feature in the same starting line up for the first time this season, with the former Plymouth recording breaking number ten getting the chance to show his versatility at full back.

There’s also a change in the centres with Hudson Tonga’uiha moving from outside centre to inside and Paul Mackey taking over the number 13 jersey. Simon Whatling starts on the bench.

When the sides met at Old Deer Park earlier this season, Ed Jackson crossed twice to help Welsh to a 34-23 win.

The Exiles will be eager to keep up their good record at Brickfields, with Welsh unbeaten in their last three visits to Plymouth.

Last season, tries from Tonga’uiha and Errie Claassens helped Welsh to a 21-10 win, with Ross adding kicking eight points and Whatling a drop goal.

In 2009/10 the sides played out a draw, with Welsh recovering from 13-5 down at half-time, while in 2008/09 the Exiles came out on top 25-24 thanks to a penalty try and further scores from Sunia Koto Vuli and Tom Brown.

www.london-welsh.co.uk

Plymouth Albion
15 James Love, 14 Mick McGrath, 13 Bevon Armitage, 12 Paul Bailey, 11 Tyson Lewis
10 Mark Lee, 9 Ruairi Cushion
1 David Morton, 2 Gareth Evans, 3 Ryan Hopkins, 4 Sean-Michael Stephen, 5 Tyler Hotson
6 Herbie Stupple, 7 Wayne Sprangle, 8 Aaron Carpenter.

Replacemnts
16 Rupert Freestone, 17 Rob Dugard, 18 Dan Collier, 19 James Tyas
20 Paul Rowley, 21 Keni Fisilau, 22 Sam Hocking.

London Welsh:
15. Alex Davies, 14. Will Hurrell, 13. Paul Mackey, 12. Hudson Tonga’uiha, 11. Joe Ajuwa
10. Gordon Ross, 9. Rob Lewis
1. Guillermo Roan, 2. Vili Ma’asi, 3. Shawn Pittman, 4. Adam Brown, 5. Martin Purdy
6. Jon Mills ©, 7. Mike Denbee, 8. Lee Beach.

Replacements:
16. Saul Nelson, 17. Billy Moss, 18. Matt Corker, 19. Ed Jackson
20. Jack Moates, 21. Simon Whatling, 22. James Lewis.


Sunday 27 November 2011

London Scottish v Bristol 14:00

London Scottish

 

London Scottish make only one change to the side that agonisingly lost in the final few seconds against London Welsh last weekend. Both Alex Clarke (who replaces Lewis Thiede at prop) and lock Josh Thomas Brown are will be looking to get one over their former side when Bristol visit the Athletic Ground on Sunday.

Scottish’s top points-scorer Dan Mugford returns to the bench after injury, and there is a return to the 22 for Scottish back-row Willie Lipp.

Bristol are currently a point clear in first place at the top of the Championship table, but Scottish will be confident of causing an upset following last week’s narrow defeat.

Head Coach Simon Amor recognised that Bristol present a stern test: “We know today we face the best team in the league who are coming off the back of a very good win against Cornish Pirates.

To earn the victory today we know that from 1 to 22 we must hit the same levels of passion and desire as were demonstrated last week against London Welsh and our decision-making and execution, in both attack and defence, will have to be at its very best.”

www.londonscottish.com

Bristol

 

Liam Middleton makes two changes to the side that defeated Pirates, as Bristol look for back-to-back victories when they visit London Scottish on Sunday.

Ruki Tipuna makes his first start for the Club, while Josh Ovens returns to the back row in place of Dan Montagu.

The Head Coach keeps faith with Fautua Otto and Junior Fatialofa in the midfield, while top-scorer Jack Tovey remains on the wing. New arrival Will Helu travels up to London with the squad, but won't play a part in the fixture.

In the forwards, Iain Grieve reverts to no.8 while Rhys Lawrence gets the nod at hooker over Jason Harris-Wright. Middleton names a five forwards and two backs split on the replacement bench, with Marco Mama recovering from food poisoning to be included in the 22-man squad.

www.bristolrugby.co.uk

Bristol are top of the Championship at the halfway point of the regular season – but Jon Goodridge said they will not be getting carried away even if they are still there at the end.

​ But with the play-off format meaning that another 10 games must be negotiated at the end of the season before promotion to the Aviva Premiership can be confirmed, Goodridge knows the hard work lies ahead.

“Everyone here is level-headed and I think that comes down to the way the league is structured,” said Goodridge.

“If it was just a case of the top side taking the top prize, then maybe we would be a bit more happy with our position and possibly getting carried away with it.

“But, because we know there’s effectively another season to come at the end of this one, we’ve got to stay level-headed. It’s about staying on-task and building for the end of the season.

Full Story www.thisisbristol.co.uk

London Scottish
15 Agustin Gosio 14 Matt Heeks 13 Ollie Holmes 12. Ollie Brown 11. David Howells
10. James Brown 9. Alfie Lalanne (c) 8. James Kellard 7. Ben Lonergan 6. Anthony Andrews
5. Ben Thomas 4. Karl Rudzki 3. Aaron Liffchak 2. Adam Kwasniki 1. Alex Clarke

Replacements
16. Nick Auterac 17. Tom Standfield 18. Lewis Thiede 19. Josh Thomas Brown
20. Willie Lipp 21. Dan Mugford 22. Tim Holgate

Bristol Rugby
Sean Marsden; Jack Tovey, Fautua Otto, Junior Fatialofa, Jon Goodridge; Tristan Roberts
Ruki Tipuna; Mark Irish, Rhys Lawrence, Jason Hobson, Mariano Sambucetti
Roy Winters, Josh Ovens, James Merriman, Iain Grieve (c).

Replacements:
Jason Harris-Wright, Wayne Thompson, Darren Crompton, Dan Montagu
Marco Mama, Tom Slater, Matty James.

 


Nottingham v Moseley 15:00

Nottingham

 

The Green and Whites welcome Moseley to Meadow Lane this Sunday as they look to continue their recent run of good form in the RFU Championship.

Nottingham put in an impressive display to beat Plymouth Albion in their last outing, securing a bonus point victory to round off a controlled performance.

Director of Rugby Glenn Delaney said: “I was pleased with the way we played against Plymouth. We played rugby in the right parts of the field and took our chances when they came. Plymouth had some sustained pressure in the second half and it was good to see us keep our composure and close the match out.”

Nottingham are undefeated at home since the opening day of the campaign and they will be looking to make it four straight home victories in all competitions against the West Midlanders on Sunday

Delaney continued: “Moseley are a good outfit and we know that we will have to be at the very top of our game to get the result we want on Sunday. They gave Bedford a real scare in their last game which shows exactly what they’re capable of.

“If we can continue to play how we have done in recent matches, I’m confident that we can give a good account of ourselves and get the result we’re looking for.”

Nottingham’s recent form has a lot to do with the continuity of selection and the Green and Whites are expected to name a relatively unchanged line-up from their previous match. One forced change will see Joe Cobden come into the side for Kieran Hallett who picked up a knock against Plymouth. Andrew Savage reverts to full back.

The match on Sunday will mark club captain Craig Hammond’s 250th league appearance for Nottingham. His time with the club has encompassed the move from the amateur to the professional era and has seen him captain Nottingham on more occasions than any other player.

Hammond said: “It’s a special day for me on Sunday, and it has been an honour to be involved with Nottingham for so long. I have had some great times with the club and I hope there’ll be many more to come.

“Ultimately though, this is just another game. We can’t afford to get sentimental when there’s a game to be won against a tough opponent like Moseley. The perfect way to mark the occasion would be to get the win we need to see us climb the table.”

www.nottinghamrugby.co.uk

Nottingham Rugby will be looking to close the gap on the Championship leaders in this match.

They are one point behind Leeds Carnegie but there is then six-point gap to Rotherham Titans who are fifth, just three points behind the leaders.

Director of rugby, Glenn Delaney has been slowly strengthening his squad over the last five years.

But his efforts have been hamstrung by a lack of finance and the Munto fiasco which nearly saw the club disappear altogether.

He has now nailed his colours to the mast, however, with the signings of the two New Zealanders, scrum half Sean Romans and big No.7 Brent Wilson, and the experienced Filipo Levi, the current Samoan second row player and former captain.

Full Story www.thisisnottingham.co.uk

Moseley

 

Moseley face their second derby opposition in consecutive weeks with the visit to their East Midlands rivals Nottingham. Once again the side is expected to be unchanged for this traditionally difficult trip. Since the home side moved to Meadow Lane, Moseley have come away with the points from this fixture on just one occasion.

Nottingham achieved a narrow victory at Billesley Common early in this season’s campaign, so the Birmingham side will be looking for revenge. With both sides committed to attacking rugby, the stage is set for an exciting contest.

www.moseleyrugby.co.uk

Brian Dick in The Birmingham Post assesses Moseley’s battle to survive.

Like an optimistic golfer Moseley reach the Championship turn hoping the inward holes will be more kind than the outward.

To assess their chances of achieving that we have no choice but to rely on the evidence of the first half of the season – and that offers both cause for optimism and pessimism.

One thing that has become clear in the early months of Kevin Maggs’ reign is that, in a world where money doesn’t just talk but actually grabs hold of your head and screams down your lughole, Moseley are in an all too familiar position – near the bottom of the financial pile.

The cake hasn’t got any bigger but Maggs has chosen to slice it differently. A larger portion has gone on the threequarters where the arrivals of Greg King, Jack Adams and Brad Hunt have brought competition to a back line that was such an Achilles heel last term.

Full Story www.birminghampost.net

Nottingham
Matt Parr, Joe Duffey, Michael Holford, Craig Hammond, Nic Rouse
Sione Kalamafoni , Brent Wilson, Alex Shaw
Nathan Jones, James Arlidge
Mike Penn, Juan Socino, Ayoola Erinle, Joe Cobden, Andrew Savage

Replacements:
Ollie Taylor, Matt Shields, Ben Prescott, Lee Morley
Phil Eggleshaw, Finlay Barnham, Charlie Hayter

Moseley
1. Tom Warren; 2.Adam Caves; 3. Craig Voisey; 4.David Lyons; 5.Dan Sanderson
6.Neil Mason; 7.Michael Ellery; 8.Chevvy Pennycook; 9. Ryan Glynn; 10. Oliver Thomas
11. William Robinson; 12.Andy Reay; 13. Greg King; 14.Brad Hunt; 15. Anthony Carter

Replacements:
16. Anthony O’donnell;17. Charley Thomas; 18. Richard Stott; 19. Michael Maltman
20.Jack Adams; 21. Ryan De La Harpe; 22 Bradley Davies.