Centre three quarter Ralph Dowds is a locally born and bred talent who learnt his rugby with Fylde Mini-Juniors (from U’7s onwards), Arnold/AKS and through Myerscough College’s AASE scheme. His distinguished junior career included representative honours for Lancashire U’16s, ’17s, ’18s and ’20s through to making the County’s Senior squad in 2016. He also made the England U’16s squad as well as the North U’18s and U’20s. He was a part of the Sale Sharks Academy and has made numerous appearances for Sale Jets.
Ralph (25) made his Fylde National One debut in February 2015 at Blaydon and has run up 53 1st XV appearances to date, far fewer than might have been expected due to a catalogue of injuries. He ruptured his ACL, tore his MCL and meniscus in February 2017 and had a couple of operations to reconstruct his ACL. As a consequence, he missed half the 2016-17 season and the whole of the 2017-18 campaign. He fought back to earn 16 appearances last season and scored a couple of tries in the process.
Warren Spragg said: “I am pleased that Ralph has managed to overcome a horrendous injury as well as managing a busy time at work to push himself back into contention in the first team squad. He played a lot of rugby towards the back end of last season and has started to show glimpses of his potential. With a strong pre-season under his belt he will be challenging hard for a starting spot in a very competitive midfield and it is important for the club that a real homegrown player is out there performing and inspiring the next generation of Minis and Juniors to push into the 1st XV.
Ralph Dowds said: “I’m really pleased to have re-signed, especially with it being Fylde’s Centenary season. Personally, last year was a big step after such a long time out injured to just get a few games under my belt. Hopefully this year I can kick on and find the form of previous years and I’m looking forward to hopefully pushing for a top two finish with a real tightly knit bunch of lads.’
Ralph Dowds is sponsored by the Beach Café.