Norwich head to Chelmsford for top-of-the-table clash

Lawrence Austion, pictured in action during Norwich's win at St Albans in the Intermediate Cup, come

Lawrence Austion, pictured in action during Norwich's win at St Albans in the Intermediate Cup, comes in at No8 at Chelmsford. Picture: Andy Micklethwaite - Credit: Andy Micklethwaite

Norwich head to Chelmsford for a top-of-the-table clash in London Two North East tomorrow.

The Essex side are notoriously difficult to beat at home and know how to take advantage of their steeply sloping pitch, winning nine and losing two at their Coronation Park home last season.

The Blue Boys finished fourth in the table last season, 31 points better off than Norwich, who pulled clear of relegation danger late in the season to finish ninth.

The two teams look to be on more of a level pegging this term though, as the only two teams to have won their opening three fixtures in London 2NE.

The Norwich team will have a different look to the one that narrowly secured a 22-19 win at St Albans in the Intermediate Cup last weekend though, with the return of front row forwards Peter Hosking, Tom Whiskin and Matt Selby.

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Captain Gareth Leake will be fit to play alongside Stuart Sepping in the second row. An injury to David Byrne last week means a change at No8, with Lawrence Austin taking over, and Si Darby & Dave Micklethwaite returning on the flanks.

With Nick Austin injured Dougie Greenwood comes in at 12 and Jordi Walker has recovered so resumes his normal place at 13. Michael Campton-Smith will be on one wing and in-form Richie Rhodes returns on the other.

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Eighteen-year-old Joe Tennant is retained in the squad after an impressive try-scoring debut last weekend and joins Aaron Beaumont and Chris Drohan on the bench.

Jonny Wheater is being rested for one more week after his run out at St Albans was curtailed part way though the game as a precaution.

Coach Jonny O'Brien said: 'It is going to be a big step up this week but it will give us a good chance to see where we are at against one of the strongest sides in the league.

'We have a good team out this week that is playing with confidence but for me the pleasing thing is how strong the squad is, based on last week's performance.'

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