Old heads return for Blaydon RFC and Tynedale RFC

Both Tynedale and Blaydon have been boosted by the return of senior players for tomorrow's National One derby

Micky Ward gives out orders to his Blaydon side
Micky Ward gives out orders to his Blaydon side

Both Tynedale and Blaydon will welcome back senior players for tomorrow’s National One derby.

The 3pm Corbridge kick-off sees Tynedale’s back line boosted by the return of Hamish Smales and captain Jack Harrison, both of whom missed last weekend’s 51-17 loss at Henley due to attending a wedding.

Newcastle Falcons hooker George McGuigan is back after making his Premiership debut against Bath last weekend, with prop Johnny Williams and Falcons’ academy back-rower Harrison Collins also coming in to the equation.

Blaydon, too, are boosted by key returnees, most notably at fly-half.

Andrew Baggett comes in for Jamie Guy after missing last weekend’s 34-9 home loss to Loughborough, director of rugby Micky Ward explaining: “He has been in hospital with a stomach problem.

“It was a bit of a mystery injury, to be honest, but he seems to be over it now. Obviously a player of his experience will give us plenty of shape and direction, and it is great to have him available for selection.”

Ward has also revealed that Jonny Burn will start at scrum-half, the former Falcons’ academy lock having been a late withdrawal last Saturday after the club realised he was not properly registered.

Simon Barber comes onto the wing for the visitors after impressing from the bench last week, Ward stating: “I am sure both ourselves and Tynedale will want to improve on poor starts to the season.”

A day of derby action also sees the meeting of Shields rivals Westoe and Percy Park in National Three North, the Wood Terrace clash getting underway at 3pm.

Percy Park, beaten 40-30 at home by Waterloo last weekend, give debuts to former Falcons academy players George Studd and Stuart Cannon in the back division.

Ex-Darlington Mowden Park scrum-half Todd Harrison earns a start, with with summer signings Guy Pike (Tynedale) and Alex Tilley (Gateshead) both selected.

Percy Park coach Ed Midcalf said: “Having recruited 15 players this summer we are excited to see what they can do, although realistic in knowing it will take time to gel.

“Westoe will be a stern test, but we have worked hard on our defence and game management this week.”

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