Chester first up for Hoppers

Date: 01 September 2015

Sam Kindred looks for a gap in the Chester defence last season at Hare Lane

Chester vs. Preston Grasshoppers  – Kick Off 3.00pm

Team News

Hoppers Coaches have decided on a line up for the trip to Chester on Saturday which includes a number of new faces, the product of both Summer signings and returnees.

Amongst these are former England Counties Under 18’s Skipper John Mackenzie and Tom Forster together with the returning Olly Viney and Sean Taylor.

The full line up reads;

1. Danny Madden, 2. Brad Tuff, 3. Tom McGuinness, 4. John Mackenzie, 5. Reece Tomlinson, 6. Andy Napier (Captain), 7. Will Lees, 8. Ally Murray, 9. Sam Kindred, 10. Tom Forster, 11. Charles Hough, 12. Sam Russell, 13. Olly Viney, 14. Scott Jordan, 15. Sean Taylor.

Replacements: 16. Jack Wilkinson, 17. Oga Mabaya, 18. Sam Gale, 19. Mark Murray, 20. Billy Woof.


Hoppers travel to Chester Rugby Club this coming weekend for the opening game of the season, and will want to change the trend of meetings between the two clubs since Chester’s promotion to National 2 as during this time the Cheshire side have won all four contests.

The latest of these at Hare Lane back in February last season was the closest yet with Hoppers leaving their fightback just too late to come away with anything more than a  solitary losing bonus point.

Chester consolidated on a successful first season in National 2 North when they finished in a very respectful fifth in the table to end up in the same position at the end of last term.

The start of the season looks quite testing for Garth Dew and his charges with the first four games all against Cheshire opposition followed by double away fixtures at Stourbridge then Broadstreet. Hoppers head coach stated he was looking forward to the challenge and preferred a tough start to the season.

Two comprehensive pre-season practice game victories will have given Hoppers a lift on top of an encouraging end to last season although Chester will be a big step up in opposition from the two National 3 sides they faced in the Warm Up Games.

Our opponents had scheduled for Practice Games against Welsh Championship opposition RGC 1404, Rygbi Gogledd Cymru who reside in Colwyn Bay and a Cheshire Cup tie with Sale FC in which both sides will have played their cards close to their chest with games ahead in the same league coming up later in the season. It appears that the game against the Welsh side was cancelled but Chester’s trip to Heywood Road ended with a narrow victory to the visitors.

Before Chester’s promotion to National 2 North, the two teams last met in competitive action during Hoppers short stay in North 1 back on the 5th of February 2005 when a relatively comfortable away victory was achieved by twenty points to five completing the double that season for Hoppers. Since then a couple of pre-season ‘training’ fixtures have taken place, both at Chester’s ground with honours shared until the current series of league fixtures.

Games between the two clubs go back exactly fifty years when the inaugural game took place at our Lea ground on the 23rd of October 1965 where Hoppers won by a single point in a game of thirty three. All told there have been twenty seven meetings between the two clubs with our opponents winning sixteen to eleven by ourselves.

Photograph courtesy of Colin Taylor

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