Fylde visit Caldy in the nearest thing they have to a local derby on Saturday (3pm) whilst the Hawks also play Caldy 2s at Paton Field. This is ‘local derby Saturday’ in National One with tasty games – Coventry v Birmingham Moseley, Rosslyn Park v Blackheath, Ampthill v Old Albanian, Hull Ionians v Darlington Mowden Park – all over England. The reverse fixtures will take place on 23rd December.
Fylde will almost certainly meet up again with try scoring machine and former Woodlands favourite Nick Royle. A more recent Fylde player has also moved to Paton Field is lock Nick Gray although he wasn’t in their squad at Bishop’s Stortford last Saturday.
Both Fylde and Caldy lost their opening fixtures last Saturday (Fylde 12-25 at home to Cambridge, Caldy 49-26 at Bishop’s Stortford) so will be very anxious to get points this weekend.
Caldy & Fylde have met just eight times over a period of four seasons between 2007-2011. Fylde have five victories, Caldy three. The last game was in March 2011 when a Fylde squad, including Jason Robinson and Nick Royle, won by 55-29. It’s a measure of the recent few years at the Woodlands that no players from that match will represent Fylde on Saturday whilst at least six are still in Caldy squad this season, including Andrew Soutar, Gavin Roberts, John Parker, Derek Salisbury, John Collister and Jesiah Dickenson.
Other games were (Fylde listed first) 25-20 (2010-11), 27-21 & 25-28 (2009-10), 23-33 & 23-22 (2008-9) and 11-9 & 7-22 (2007-8).
Caldy had a superb campaign last season and were totally deserved champions of National Two (North) and in reaching National One this season have achieved their highest ever level. Head Coach is well known North West player and coach Simon Verbickas. They have retained the great majority of the players that earned them promotion. Prominent newcomers apart from Nick Gray include very experienced scrum-half Chris Pilgrim, formerly with Loughborough Students, Nottingham, Newcastle Falcons and more recently Yorkshire Carnegie. He also has representative honours for England Students and England Counties. England Counties flanker Nyle Davidson has returned to the Club following a season at Macclesfield.
The Caldy match squad is:
15 Andrew Soutar; 14 Ben Jones, 13 Gavin Roberts, 12 Jack Beevers, 11 Nick Royle; 10 Rhys Hayes, 9 Chris Pilgrim; 1 Jack Parker, 2 Ted Stagg, 3 Derek Salisbury, 4 Jack Collister, 5 Tom Sanders, 6 Harrison Crowe, 7 Nyle Davidson, 8 JJ Dickenson.
16 John Whitaker, 17 Martin Gerrad, 18 Stuart Cross, 19 Dom Gosling, 20 Mark Dixon.
Fylde welcome three Sale Sharks players on dual registration. Prop Jake Pope made 20 appearances for the Club last season. Newcomers are Matt Postlethwaite and Curtis Langdon.
Lock forward Postlethwaite, 20, learnt his rugby at Ilkley RFC and Ilkley Grammar School before joining Yorkshire Carnegie Academy. He represented England U’18s in 2015. He then moved to Sale Sharks and gained useful National League experience in the last two season on a dual registration basis at Sale FC where he made 48 1st team appearances.
Hooker Curtis Langdon, 20, comes originally from Somerset and played for Weston Hornets before joining the London Irish Academy when he was a DR at Henley Hawks and made 18 appearances. He joined Sale Sharks and last season played 8 times for Macclesfield as a DR.
All three are named as replacements in a squad which shows just one change in the starting line-up. Greg Smith was unavailable last Saturday but take up his normal fly-half berth at Caldy.