North Walsham gearing up for London One North season opener

Stuart Loose is still going strong for North Walsham. Picture: Hywel Jones

Stuart Loose is still going strong for North Walsham. Picture: Hywel Jones - Credit: Archant

The short summer recess over and pre season friendlies completed the season proper starts for North Walsham with a home game against Brentwood tomorrow in London One North (3pm).

Walsham coach Nick Greenhall has had to contend with a fragmented run-up, with several players unable to commit to as many training sessions as both he and they would have liked.

The cricket season, protracted harvest and family holidays have reduced numbers and there are one or two players missing from the starting line-up who will figure prominently as the season evolves. Ryan Oakes and Tim Weber, having started new employment, have work commitments, Mark McCall is on holiday, while Ashley Speight, Jake Colman and Callum Cashman are recovering from injury but their return is imminent.

Stalwart prop Stuart Loose shows no sign of easing up as his tally of first team appearances nears 450 and is ready to shore up the front row. Former Walsham youth player Toby Salmon is pencilled in to take the place of injured Chris Kent in the second row and Mike Rouse will skipper the side from the back row.

Behind the pack there is a debate over the scrum-half role as Henry Dewing has work commitments and is unlikely to be able to play on a regular basis, Will Quinn is slowly recovering from an ankle injury picked up in last season's Woodfordes Norfolk Cup Final and so the position could go to Dan Goodrich who, despite being more recognisable wearing the No 2 shirt, is no stranger to the position and has impressed during the pre-season, or Dean Blyth who is also in the frame.

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Whoever is selected he will line up alongside David Treglown with fit again Will Hodgson and last season's top try scorer Rhys Davies-Horne in the centre. The wing berths look certain to go to Shane van Vuuren and another former Walsham youth product Sam Rhodes, who has returned from a spell with St Austell in Cornwall. James Knight, always a threat when running from deep positions will be at full back.

Walsham (from): S Loose, D Roberts, T Browes, T Coller, T Salmon, A Downing, C Godwin, M Rouse, T Knight, D Goodrich, D Blyth, D Treglown, S van Vuuren, W Hodgson, R Davies-Horne, S Rhodes, J Younie, B Vurewa, B Clayphan, I Webster

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