North Walsham stalwart Chris Godwin set to miss whole season through injury
- Credit: Archant
North Walsham have been dealt a big injury blow ahead of their first London One North home game of the season against Chingford on Saturday (3pm).
Flanker Chris Godwin, the club's most experienced player, has sustained a serious Achilles injury.
Full details of the extent of the injury are not known but it is unlikely he will play again this season.
Coach Johnny Marsters has had numerous selection problems for the Chingford match as three members of last weekend's squad have work commitments but on the plus side lock Dan Bird is back.
With their home matches having been delayed due to work to extend the clubhouse the Vikings will be pleased to be playing in front of their own supporters again, having opened the season with wins at Woodford (63-14) and Shelford (29-14).
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Chingford were promoted along with Brentwood following a successful 2017-18 season but found the going tough and came straight down to London One North. In their opener at Ruislip they finished on top 29-12 but last weekend they went down 5-21 at home to Woodford.
Those supporters who can never have too much rugby can spend half an hour watching the club's second string, the Raiders, in action against Wymondham II, with a kick-off time of 2.30pm.
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Due to the lack of rain and subsequent hardness of the pitches, the Norfolk 10s competition due to be held at Scottow on Sunday has been postponed until a date to be agreed.
North Walsham (from): D Canning, T Knight, T Browes, G Youngs, R Oakes, D Bird, J Cherry, W Swart, E Sampson, J Duffield, M Hodgson, J Riley, C Anthony, J Milligan, D Smith, J Younie, J Mustard, D Cubitt.
Norwich play their second consecutive home game on Saturday when they entertain Romford & Gidea Park.
Having opened their campaign with an excellent win over newly promoted Holt they will be looking to keep up the good work against a team who were beaten 29-7 at home by new boys Wymondham on the opening day.
"Last week was a great team performance, where we put into practice all the work that the coaching team planned for pre-season," said director of rugby David Everitt. "Although the score was 46-3 Holt provided stiff opposition and their defence was outstanding until they ran out of steam in the last 20 minutes. This was due to the fact that they had to make so many tackles because our forwards were winning the contact areas and supplying our backs with quick, quality ball that they were able to use to great effect.
"When Holt did manage to win the ball our defensive structure was such that we were able to drive them back in the tackle and often turn the ball over. We played with patience, continuity and control, recycling the ball and stringing many phases of possession to run in six tries.
"There are still areas that we need to work on and coach Lee Parry will not have been pleased with the number of penalties we gave away, plus our set-pieces need to improve."
Flanker Richie Ruddick gets a start at six in place of the absent Jake Wharton.
Holt will be looking to bounce back from their defeat when they welcome Ipswich to Bridge Road. The Suffolk side are sure to provide more tough opposition for Phil Sharpe's side, despite having been beaten 36-20 at Southwold in their opener.
Boosted by a 31-3 win over Wanstead in new coach Nick Greenhall's first competitive game in charge, Diss make the long haul to Epping Upper Clapton. Wymondham's first London 2NE game at their new Barnard Fields ground is against South Woodham Ferrers while Southwold travel to Wanstead.
Thetford open their league campaign with a trip to Fakenham, who kicked off with a hard-fought 24-12 win over Wisbech last Saturday.
Newly promoted Beccles host West Norfolk while Crusaders also make their first appearance on home soil against Woodbridge.
North Walsham Raiders' match against Wymondham II is one of four Eastern Counties One North fixtures on Saturday, the others being Norwich Union v Norwich Medics, Holt II v Watton and Diss II v Norwich II.
Lakenham Lionesses suffered a 72-0 defeat at a strong Hackney Ladies side. Second row Josie Howl was player of the match for the visitors.