Blaydon have been boosted by the availability of Newcastle Falcons wing Zach Kibirige for tomorrow’s National One derby with Tynedale.
The 19-year-old was man of the match for the Falcons in Italy last weekend, scoring two tries in their 25-10 Amlin Challenge Cup win.
But it has not been enough to earn him a place in the squad for tomorrow’s Premiership trip to Exeter, meaning he will drop down and resume duties against a Tynedale side in desperate need of a victory to pull them away from second-bottom in the division.
Tyne were 25-24 winners when the two teams met in Corbridge in September, Blaydon director of rugby Micky Ward expecting them to move the ball around in tomorrow’s 2pm kick-off at Crow Trees.
“Tynedale play with a lot of width, and despite their league position they are a dangerous side,” said Ward.
“Andy Buist in the second-row for them is a class player who was a former team-mate of mine at Newcastle Falcons, and Gavin Beasley at fly-half is another we will need to watch.
“I am really looking forward to seeing the match-up between Tom Penny and Chris Harris at outside centre, and the Tynedale game is normally one which draws a lot of interest and a decent crowd from both clubs.”
Yet to finalise his selection, Ward said: “We had no new injuries from last weekend, so I have a bit of a headache in picking the team.
“James Hallam and Andy Davies are both available after being rested against Fylde, Matty Hall at hooker is back and Tom Bramwell in the centres is mad keen to play against his old club. I have got some big decisions to make.
“In a way, losing 9-5 at Fylde last week might not have been such a bad thing for lads. It has focused the minds, and they know they have to be totally switched-on if we are going to hit our points target.”
Tynedale, meanwhile, are without Matthew Charters for the short trip to Swalwell, the flanker having gone on holiday.
Chairman of rugby John Shotton said: “We have just got to get on with it, and it will be a tough one at Blaydon.
“They are the form side in the league, but in derby games that doesn’t matter. There will be a big crowd and a good atmosphere, so we shall just have to wait and see what happens.”
Darlington Mowden Park, currently placed second in National Two North, face a home tie against fourth-bottom Hull.