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Norwich hoping to shrug off injury concerns

PUBLISHED: 15:53 23 November 2017

Second rows Nathan Wilson and Jack Walsh combine during Norwich's Intermediate Cup win over Chiswick and Beeston Hyrne last Saturday.  Picture: Andy Micklethwaite

Second rows Nathan Wilson and Jack Walsh combine during Norwich's Intermediate Cup win over Chiswick and Beeston Hyrne last Saturday. Picture: Andy Micklethwaite

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Norwich resume their London Two North East campaign at Upminster side Old Cooperians tomorrow, but will actually be playing them at Barking due to school games taking place on their ground.

The problems with injuries continue, with Nick Austin still out, but Phil Buckley and Rob Micklethwaite return to the squad.

Paul Micklethwaite, absent through an ankle injury last week, is still a doubt and his brother Dave is unlikely to play following an injury in training on Tuesday.

Norwich will be looking for a big improvement on their last away match, when they lost 22-6 at Wanstead after a poor display, but they have something to build on following successive home wins, including an 18-10 success over Chiswick in the Intermediate Cup last time out.

Head coach Jonny O’Brien said: “I loved the physical challenge that Chiswick gave us last week. We haven’t played in too many close matches of late, so the experience of winning in the last minute was really important for the boys.”

He added: “The players that came up from the Lions really showed how strong our squad is at the moment. Richie Ruddock, Cameron Horide, George Ainge and Tristan Smith all did themselves proud. The coaches and players have been planning on how to improve our away form, starting this week.”

Director of Rugby David Everitt added: “Last Saturday we had the opportunity to give some of the Lions players a chance to show their worth and they came through with great credit. Having a stronger squad to pick from creates competition for places. Young George Ainge showed that he has a great deal of potential but was unfortunately only on the field for a short time before he dislocated his finger.”

The match of the day in London Three Eastern Counties is at Southwold, where the league leaders entertain a Holt side who are third after an impressive run of eight successive victories.

Thetford travel to Ely for a match that pitches fourth against fifth while the other games are Crusaders v Woodbridge, Wymondham v Wisbech, Stowmarket v West Norfolk and, in a clash between the bottom two, Newmarket v Lowestoft & Yarmouth.

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