Beaumont like a new signing, says Fylde coach

Sam Beaumont

Sam Beaumont

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Fylde RFC player-coach Paul Arnold praised Sam Beaumont on his return to the fray after nearly a year out of the game.

Speaking before tomorrow’s trip to Rosslyn Park, where Beaumont will be in action again, Arnold said: “Sam was outstanding at Hull Ionians last Saturday. It was as if he had never been away.

“At one point he did three tackles in a row, all around the ankles, which eventually led to the ball being turned over to us.

“Sam just gets on with things without any fuss, and certainly from the time I have been with Fylde he has somehow never really got the credit he deserves.

“It is like we have signed a new player.”

Tomorrow’s clash in the capital sees ninth-placed Fylde take on a side one position and six points ahead of them in the National One table.

The sides met in October, when Fylde prevailed 36-20 in a Woodlands match played on good, old-fashioned grass. Tomorrow’s rematch will take place on an artificial 4G surface.

Arnold will have a test on a knee injury before finalising selection, though if he is fit the coach will start on the bench.

Nick Gray will lock the scrum from the start with Gareth Rawlings, while Simon Griffiths could return on the bench if he too passes a fitness test.

Hooker Phil Mills takes his place on the bench, having recovered from ankle ligament damage.

Back row forward Evan Stewart is unavailable, so there is a start for Ben Vernon.

Fylde are seeking back-to-back away wins, having won 36-26 on Humberside last Saturday, their first success of 2016.

Arnold said: “The performance was a lot better than it had been against Plymouth the week previously.

“It is a hard place to go and win a game, though I have to say that we nearly shot ourselves in the foot when we were down to 12 men at one stage . Things did start to go wrong for us in the last 15 minutes.

“I was particularly happy with the performance of the half-backs and the pack-leaders.”

Rosslyn Park will pose a different type of challenge but Arnold believes Fylde have been showing themselves in a better light away from the Woodlands.

He said: “For some reason there seems to be less pressure on us when we are playing away from home.

“Maybe we are trying to force things too much when we play in front of our home crowd.”

There is no place in the squad tomorrow for Dominic Moon, Mark Goodman or Joe Robinson, who have been in the reckoning for the bulk of the season but miss out for the second weekend running.

Arnold said: “All three played for the second team last weekend and showed the right kind of attitude.

“It is a hard thing to keep happy 30 players who are all capable of playing first XV rugby, and when you know other clubs would be interested when they are not making your first team.”

Fylde: Dorrington; Brennand, S Rawlings, Briers, Bingham; Johnson, Nicholls; Birchall, Burtonwood, Lewis, G Rawlings, Gray, Beaumon, Vernon, Fairbrother. Replacements: Arnold, Griffiths or Lavelle, Spragg, Dowds, Mills.