Just when Tynedale thought their luck had turned, a fresh spate of injuries and unavailability has hit their preparation for tomorrow’s National One trip to Wharfedale.
Captain Jack Harrison, who had returned last weekend for their convincing win over Old Albanians, is expected to be sidelined for another long spell – and he is not the only one.
Chairman of rugby John Shotton revealed: “It made a difference getting one or two people back but we have lost another load and it just seems to go on.
“Jack in the centres is injured again. He has a scan today and could be out for the season, while Chris Harris is also out for the whole campaign after having both shoulders operated on.
“Matty Outson at scrum-half is 50-50 with an ankle problem and Andy Buist is out with numbness in his neck and shoulder area.
“Our tight-head Matty Shields has been recalled from his loan by Plymouth, which is hardly surprising considering his two tries last weekend, but as always we will just get on with it.”
Tynedale showed improvements last weekend and Shotton added: “We didn’t play particularly well in certain areas, but got in their faces and probably took them by surprise.
“Wharfedale will be tough down there tomorrow. They have gone well this season and beat us convincingly at our place.”
Blaydon host high-flying Rosslyn Park without in-form winger Zach Kibirige, who was on Newcastle Falcons duty last night.
Darlington Mowden Park’s drive to keep pace with National Two North leaders Macclesfield has them at home to mid-table Harrogate, while in National Three North Percy Park travel to a Bradford and Bingley squad containing former Falcons Suka Hufanga and Rikki Sheriffe.
Park make only one change from the side which defeated Billingham, Jonny Dubois in for Andrew Dunn due to an ankle ligament injury.
Coach Ed Midcalf said: “We hope to have a forward platform from which to play front-foot rugby against a side we have already beaten this season.”
Novos make one change for their Durham and Northumberland One relegation tussle with Ponteland, with head coach Magnus Leask pleased by their recent improvement.
He said: “We have been trying to work on defence, and making sure we play with our heads up.
“We spoke about making sure our selection was more consistent and we have added more direction to our play.”