Second XV squad to play Fylde 2nds on Friday 7th October, kick off 7-45pm.
Hoppers unbeaten second team welcome local rivals Fylde to Lightfoot Green for a Friday night fixture under the lights.
Owen McKenna and Josh Purnell have been promoted to the first team squad whilst Harry Reddick has picked up a minor injury. Aside from these changes Mike Lough picks from a position of real strength. Six of those who trained in Thursday nights atrocious conditions missed out on selection and can consider themselves extremely unlucky. However this is a genuine sign of the progress the club has made over the past six months. In a long season their time will come again and everybody’s efforts shall be rewarded.
Fylde make the trip down the M55 full of confidence and will doubtless expect to get the better of their near neighbours. Hoppers are fully focused on producing an improved performance as each week goes by and will seek to extend their remarkable run of clean sheets.
Kick off is at 7-45 and it would be great to see a healthy crowd to cheer the lads on.
This weekend sees a first Bateman Premier League fixture for Hoppers 2nd XV to be played on a Friday evening under floodlights when they entertain neighbours and rivals Fylde Wanderers (kick off 7.45 pm).
The decision to move some 2nd XV fixtures to Friday nights was the idea of the Hoppers Rugby Management who felt this could be a realistic way of raising the profile of 2nd XV rugby and the Bateman Premier League.
Speaking on behalf of the committee Gareth Dyer said ‘At the end of last season the senior squad was decimated by injuries and unavailabilities and this had an impact on our competitiveness at this level. We felt to improve our strength in depth we needed to improve our offering below 1st XV to ensure we develop, improve and retain a strong squad of players all capable of playing National league rugby. After a pleasing start, this weekends game against a strong Fylde side will show what sort of progress we are making towards that aim’.
Hoppers go into the game at the top of the table after winning their first five games. After an opening day win at Macclesfield (13-15), the side has not conceded a point since having had home wins over Caldy (65-0) and Altrincham Kersal (83-0) plus further away wins at LSH (0-40) and last weekend at Broughton Park (0-58).
Fylde are also a team in form with four wins from their opening five games. They have had big wins over Broughton Park (32-12), Burnage (52-0), Penrith (74-3) and Lymm (75-10) with their only reverse being a close loss at third placed Stockport (40-28) to lie fourth in the table.
The Hoppers coaches have selection decisions to make with around 45 players training as part of the senior squad. Competition for places is fierce throughout the squad with the front row, back row and centre positions likely to be particular areas for discussion.
It is hoped a decent size crowd will make its way to Lightfoot Green for a Friday night local rugby fix. Entrance for the game is free.