A key game to hopefully get the season going, after the promising, but eventually unsuccessful, visit to Ilkley last weekend, which sees us one off the foot of the table after the first round of games.
Kirkby had a winning start at play-off winners Wilmslow, scoring in injury time to regain the lead which had changed hands several times - Mike Fearon playing at outside half, getting several positive mentions in Wilmslow’s report of the game. James Thompson is also named in this weekend's team.
Few teams get a win at Kirkby, (as Hoppers found last year) and we are still looking for our first league win there on our fifth attempt.
TEAM : The pack is unchanged, and there is only one change to the backs with Nick Carlton dropping to the bench, Dini Noyo moving from fullback to wing and Zane Butler going to fullback. The space in the centre is filled by newcomer Jack Blakeney-Edwards.
A search on the internet suggests he is 22 and was with National League 1 Darlington Mowden Park last season, having been part of the Falcon’s Academy and Leeds University. He has also appears to have at some point been in the Otley squad, and played for Yorkshire, and was in Australia in the Summer
The bench is made up of Nick Carlton, Robbie Collinson and Kirk Chettleburgh (who I initially thought was one of our many outside half recruits, but he is a flanker from New Zealand).
WEATHER : As usual for a visit to a ground in one of the most attractive settings, the forecast is 80-90% chance of heavy rain !