2nd XV welcome Sale FC to Lightfoot Green

Date: 01 September 2017

Pre-Season is complete and the waiting is nearly over as rugby players across the country get ready to cross the whitewash again. The 2nd XV open their Cotton Traders Premier League campaign by hosting Sale FC at Lightfoot Green. The new season brings a revamped competition in which the top eight sides from last season will face each other four times between now and the 21st April.

Saturday’s sides are joined in the Premier League by defending champions Sedgley Park, Caldy, Chester, Firwood Waterloo, Fylde and Macclesfield. The aim of the new format is to increase the quality of rugby by reducing the number of one-sided contests and to ensure that results over the course of the whole season count towards the destiny of the championship.

If truth be told the second team have disappointed over the last two seasons and returning coach John Young is intent on ensuring that the side are competing for both trophies come the Spring. Twinned with building a winning culture is providing healthy competition for the first team incumbents and Saturday’s squad is a blend of experience and youth, all of whom will be keen to play first team rugby during what will be an attritional season.

The side is captained by returning lock, Mark Rigbye whilst the likes of Mawdsley, Proctor, Gargett and Akrigg have plenty of experience in their locker. Jack Granby, who wore the Red Rose for England Counties at the end of last season brings athleticism and enthusiasm to the side whilst Alex Isherwood makes his first appearance in a Hoppers jersey. Meanwhile Jacob Browne, Cameron Robinson and new arrival Jobe Roxby bring pace and dynamism to the outside backs. With several players, including Sam Gale, Ryan Purcell, Connor Johnson, Tom Peterson, Ollie Yates, Andy Deakin, Dom Aspinall and Rob Meadows back in contention for selection in the coming fortnight, there is already a reassuring depth to the squad.

Sale FC will doubtless provide stiff opposition on Saturday and contests between the two sides are generally high scoring affairs. They’ve recruited heavily in the Summer and it will be interesting to see what sort of impact that has upon their second team aspirations.

Kick off on the AGP is 3:00pm and with the sun expected to shine Hoppers are keen to begin their campaign in a positive fashion. If you cannot get to Sandal to support the first team, then Young and his tyros would welcome your support.

Cotton Traders Premier League – Match-Day 1 – 02.09.17.

Hoppers 2nd XV vs Sale FC @ Lightfoot Green.

Kick off 3:00pm.

1. Tyler Sloane
2. Ryan Wilkinson
3. Danny Burns
4. Mark Rigby (c)
5. Jack Granby
6. James Mawdsley
7. Alex Isherwood
8. Luke Proctor
9. Rhys Llewellyn
10. Tom Forster
11. Matt Gargett
12. Jack Akrigg
13. Jacob Browne
14. Cameron Robinson
15. Jobe Roxby
16. Ewan Naylor
17. Jack Edwards
18. Craig Procter

Ade Jebb

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