Norwich hit by injury problems ahead of new season

Norwich return to league action with a match at Harlow Picture: Andy Micklethwaite

Norwich return to league action with a match at Harlow Picture: Andy Micklethwaite - Credit: Andy Micklethwaite

Norwich have a tough first game of the season in London 2NE, with a match at Harlow's impressive new ground.

They have endured a catalogue of injury problems during pre-season which are far from over, with Dave Micklethwaite, Pip Scott and Jack Walsh all still carrying ankle knocks due to the hard ground. The squad's spirits have been raised, however, by the return of captain Matt Selby, scrum-half Robbie Bridgstock and injury returnees hooker Phil Buckley and wing Conan Hoey.

Jason Hynd will prop, having made a meteoric rise from the thirds to the firsts during last season. Seasoned second row Tom Lloyd is another welcome returnee after an impressive game for the Lions against Holt two weeks ago. Tom Moss will play at six, with Paul Micklethwaite replacing his absent brother at seven.

Director of Rugby David Everitt said: 'After an encouraging pre-season with the new coaching structure led by Lee Parry we look forward to an exciting brand of rugby, engaging both backs and forwards. With injuries and unavailability disrupting the warm-up games the squad for this Saturday, led by new captain Matt Selby, is looking to put in a performance that we can build on as the season progresses. With a young Lions side and an enthusiastic A XV the club starts the league campaign with plenty of optimism.'

New head coach Parry added: 'We're looking forward to getting the league campaign under way where we hope to see some great rugby. The players are eager to put the performances in on the pitch, starting with Harlow, against whom both games were tightly contested last season.'

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The Lions are away at Lowestoft & Yarmouth in Eastern Counties 2N and the AXV host Diss III.

L&Y are aiming to regroup at a lower level after pulling out of London Eastern Counties Three midway through last term. They have a new captain in Brett Thomas and new coach in Steven Cooper.

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Back in London 2NE newly-promoted Southwold, who are playing at this level for the very first time, kick off their campaign with a home game against Stowmarket, who were promoted alongside them as champions last season.

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