“Once again, we face Cheshire in the decisive round of matches in the Bill Beaumont Cup Northern section.

“We are fully aware of the challenge that awaits us at Fylde on Saturday. Four teams are still in with a chance of progressing to the final Yorkshire, Cheshire, Eastern Counties and ourselves. In this format of the competition it can really go down to the wire, with all four of the protagonists playing each other with Counties facing Yorkshire at Cambridge, and of course ourselves and Cheshire at the Woodlands.

“We have played two very difficult opponents so far and come out with creditable wins in both. Northumberland were very testing up at Percy Park and Eastern Counties were a difficult nut to crack last weekend at Sedgley Park. However , I expect that Cheshire will now give us the big test with so much riding on the outcome.

“Selection will be a very difficult process with the Sale contingent back in the mix after their enforced absence by a highly contentious decision taken by the NCA forcing them to play for their club v Luctonians even though we are in the designated County Championship window. We got back  the Sedgley Park lads for last weeks game following their play off game down at Chinnor and of course we have players from the other clubs available for the whole  block of games.

“There are far more players worthy of selection than places available in the 22 man squad … it will be very tough to make these decisions. However, it shows the quality and passion for the County amongst our players. This is very heartening for the future of the game as a whole, where the county competition offers players representational opportunity and the chance to play outside a constricting league programme which now dominates the landscape of adult male rugby.

“We will train this week and prepare ourselves as best we can for Saturdays match and hope that we get a good crowd down to support us, as long as the Royal Nuptials don’t prove too strong a distraction!”