Beccles take centre stage as big two have day off

Beccles take centre stage tomorrow as Norfolk's two National League side have a rare break.

There are no league fixtures this weekend and with North Walsham and Diss not in cup action the spotlight falls on Beccles, who entertain Rochford Hundred in the second round of the London and South East Intermediate Cup.

After their first league win of the season last week the team are in good spirits and will be looking to keep the momentum going.

Rochford are currently top of the same league as Beccles and have only lost once this season.

They have already visited Beef Meadow this term and Beccles were always in contention until late on when the visitors extended their lead to 29-15.

Beccles will be missing Sale and Veasey-Lark tomorrow, with Sale being replaced by Scotchner at scrum-half. The forwards have no new injury worries and will be unchanged.

Lowestoft and Yarmouth also take a break from league action as they travel to Hertfordshire to face Datchworth, who play in London 3NW, in the Intermediate Cup.

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L&Y director of rugby Scott Nelson has decided to make a few changes to the squad that has been together for most of the season.

Influential No 8 and captain Marc Thomas, senior centre Kris Nelson and powerful flanker Steve Adams all have other commitments so Chris Howe slides back from the hooker berth to fill in at eight and with his hard running and exceptional defensive skills should go well.

Kyle Hallam, who has been a part of the first team squad all season, finally gets the start he has wanted at hooker and will be up for the challenge.

Steve Powles gets the flanker shirt after impressing when coming on in the win against Upminster and will be looking to make a claim for the six shirt. Scrum-half Russell Chapman moves to outside half, with Scott Nelson having a run in his favoured position of inside centre.

Joshua Fewkes, who has been playing well on the wing, gets his first start at half back this season. The wing slot left vacant by Fewkes will be filled by the speedy hard-tackling Daniel Boardley.

The bench sees three debutants with 17-year-old utility back Tom Dare, second row Sam Roberts and powerful No 8 Alan Roberts all getting a spot after some excellent second team performances. Dave Palmer also comes back into the squad.

'It's nice to be in a position to give the guys who have been training and playing well for the seconds an opportunity to step up a level,' said first team manager Matt Jary.

'Hopefully they will be able to ask some questions of the selection committee.

'Obviously having Marc, Kris and Stevie unavailable is a blow but all the guys stepping up are more than capable of performing well and its great that we have some depth in the squad to pick from.'

Wisbech are also in Senior Vase action, playing host to Barnet Elizabethans, while there is also action in the Junior Vase, with the most eye-catching match seeing Thetford play host to West Norfolk.

With scheduled opponents West in Vase action, North Walsham's Woodforde's Norfolk Cup game has been postponed to a date to be agreed.

The Raiders are also without a game but the Warriors travel to Beccles for a Woodforde's Merit Table fixture.

Norwich have a day off tomorrow allowing for more preparation time for the important trip to Basildon the following week.

The Lions hold centre stage at Beeston Hyrne, entertaining Watton in a Merit Table game. The side selected contains a suitable mix of youth and experience, with the ever green Simon Vavasour hooking.

Simon Atkinson and Ethan Treble-Westlake, who were both on the bench for the first team last week, are in the back row, with Clarke Hindle also included outside the scrum. The A XV are also at home to UEA A.

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