Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Regional Rugby Round-Up

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Regional Rugby Round-Up

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Gilder

Having already lost two of their most-influential players, a depleted Blaydon squad are hoping Patrick Segi passes a fitness test in time for tomorrow's National Division Three North encounter with Preston Grasshoppers.

The home team will be missing Nick Williams ( who is still on international duty with Austria in Denmark ( and Andrew Fenby, the prolific winger who is on holiday, when they take to the pitch at Crow Trees. Fenby is Blaydon's leading try scorer since his arrival at the club in January and his absence will come as a major blow to home hopes.

"Fortunately Michael Campbell is fit again after flu and can play at either full back or wing," said club spokesman Jim Huxley last night.

Segi has been struggling with the knee problem he suffered while in action last weekend and is a doubt. The flanker will be given until the last possible moment to prove his fitness.

Tynedale, fresh from their Northumberland Senior Cup triumph over Morpeth, will return to league action when they travel to Lancashire to face Cleckheaton.

The National Division Three North side scored seven tries ( all converted by skipper Phil Belgian ( to further their chances of winning the cup for the fourth-successive season. Tynedale will face Northern ( who beat Alnwick at the weekend ( in next weekend's semi-final.

Northumberland's hopes of progressing to the last four of the National Under-20 Championships have suffered a blow, with at least six members of Andy James' side unavailable for tomorrow's quarter-final at Oxford University.

The visitors had hoped to switch the fixture to Sunday in order to allow a large contingent of club players take part. But with Oxford having rejected the request, Northumberland will be forced to name an unfamiliar line-up for an important match.

"The irony is that, while in the past we have drawn players from universities in Newcastle, this season we have more club players than ever," said secretary Stuart Bainbridge last night. …

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