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Selby RUFC braced for big table-topping tussle
Selby RUFC’s resurgence will receive a firm examination when they go to Sheffield Medicals in Yorkshire Two tomorrow.
The Sandhill Laners have won all five of their matches this season and sit proudly on top of the table, two points clear of West Leeds.
But coach Richard Nicholson’s side, who boast the best attack in the division and the second best defence, meet a Sheffield side that also have yet to taste defeat – having won four and drawn one.
Promoted from Yorkshire Three last season, Nicholson admits Selby’s opponents represent an unknown quantity and he believes the trip will be a good barometer of how his team are performing this season.
“We have never played them as far as I am aware,” he said. “I have spoken to one or two people about them but it is going to be interesting. They have had an excellent start to the season and they like to play running rugby.
“We are just trying to focus on this game and not look too far ahead. If we can get a result it would be a terrific statement. We will give them a lot of respect and we know we will have to be at our best.”
Selby will be without prop Andrew Pocklington, while second row Karim Brown is also missing. Rob Triffit, however, returns to action.
“It’s not massively important (for the league) but for confidence,” he said. “They are a side on a par with us. We thrashed them at home last season and lost by about two points over there. We got a bonus point against Morley last time, but we should have had the whole lot.”
The Gannock-based outfit are fielding a number of young players and will welcome back the experience of Ryan Lonsdale, who starts on the bench after returning to Ryedale from Australia.
Head coach, and fly-half, Chris Creber will be forced to watch from the touchline, however, having not recovered from the arm injury that forced him off in the first half of the 19-17 defeat against Morley.
Pocklington edged Cleckheaton by a single point last week in a 24-23 victory and they are back on their travels in North One East as they go to Durham City for the first time since 2001.
Strong competition for places and a couple of injury doubts sees Pocklington name a squad of 20 that will be trimmed down after training. It includes Dan Pickard, Jack Fletcher, Henry Mitchell and Dave Birch, who all impressed in the Panthers’ 51-0 victory at Bridlington last Saturday.
York entertain Yorkshire One newcomers Wath upon Dearne with vice-captain Pete Martin back in the side after returning from holiday to partner fellow centre Sam Potrykus. Marc Benson moves into the second row as Dave Bates departs for a tour of Afghanistan.
York RI, shut out by Thornensians in a 41-0 loss last time out, look to break their five-match losing streak at New Lane against Rotherham Phoenix in Yorkshire Three.