Hull Preview

Date: 01 September 2014

Preston Grasshoppers vs. Hull – Kick Off 2.30pm

Team News

Head Coach Garth Dew is able to name several new faces in his side to face Hull on Saturday. Reece Tomlinson, a second row from Kendal, is named alongside Ally Murray in the engine room. With Sean Taylor having departed to Ballymena there is a chance at full back for new signing John Embelton. John joins after spells with both Fylde and Blaydon. On the bench Hoppers youngster Josh Todd gets his chance covering the scrum-half position.

Another familiar face who will be hoping to make an impact from the bench is the evergreen Rich Morton. If Rich gets on to the pitch on Saturday it will be his 200th appearance in the blue and white hoops of Hoppers. Phil Baines captains the side for the first time from outside centre alongside former Kirkham Grammar student Tom Hurst who has impressed in pre-season.

Coach Dew commenting on selection said ‘We have had great commitment throughout pre season from the players and therefore selecting the side for this weekend has been a very difficult task for the coaches. A number of very talented players have been put on 2nd XV duty this weekend as a result of the fierce competition for places this year.’

He added ‘Though as we keep reminding the lads it is a very long season and there’s no doubt the majority of the squad will have an impact on our national league campaign at some point this season. I’m excited about the selection we’ve made and believe it’s a team that can go out and play a good brand of rugby and hopefully get the season off to a flying start.’

Preston Grasshoppers XV to face Hull:

Irving, Mills, Altham, Tomlinson, Murray, Wallace, Lees, Taylor, Kindred, Allen, Kendall, Hurst, Baines (C), Trueman, Embelton


Tuff, Peterson, Morton, Todd, Davies


Dan Madden

Danny Madden who scored two tries against Hull last season, leads the charge.


Preston Grasshoppers welcome Hull to Lightfoot Green this coming Saturday hoping the fixture won’t suffer the same fate as last season when the original fixture was postponed due to a flooded pitch.

Both teams will be hoping for a better season ahead of them than last, especially our visitors who were under serious threat of relegation for most of the season. Hoppers completed a double over Hull last term in two very high scoring games scoring eleven tries in the process.

As at Lightfoot Green, the Hull club have had a change of leadership with Geoff Wappett (late of Macclesfield) and Martin Webdale taking the reigns but Garth Dew and John Kirkpatrick will be hoping to get their new careers off to a winning start for the ‘Hoppers.

Pre-season has seen Hoppers 1st XV Squad clock up victories over the National 3 squads from Sale FC and Burnage whilst Hull played Bishop Burton on Friday night.

Comings and goings over the summer have seen Preston Grasshoppers lose the services of Sean Taylor who has moved across the water to Ireland and our visitors will be without the services of Greg Lound who has been snapped up by Championship side Rotherham.

New faces in the blue and white for ‘Hoppers are Second Row Reece Tomlinson and centre/fly-half Ollie Carter who both made guest appearances in the Good Friday victory over Fylde last season plus former Blaydon and Fylde man John Embleton who will be hoping to make a place for themselves in the first fifteen. You can read a full round up of all the new players here. Unfortunately new signing Dan White from Kendal will not be available for selection due to an injury picked up in the game with Sale FC.

Fixtures against Hull’s ‘Town’ Club are only recent events, the first taking place back in the 2004/5 season at their old ground Howarth Road when Hoppers were victorious by thirty four points to thirty two. The home team missed a late kick at goal for victory helping Hoppers on their way to promotion. The statistics tell us there to have been thirteen meetings between the two clubs with Hoppers holding the upper hand, winning eight including a win in a National Cup tie to Hull’s four successes plus an eighteen all draw. Games between the two sides almost always provide plenty of scoring with Hoppers averaging 29 points to our visitors 21 per game.

Photograph Courtesy of Mike Craig.

Video Preview

1st XV Video Analyst Matt Coleridge has put together the preview video for Hoppers TV which you can view below.

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