FYLDE rugby union club say they are confident that they can keep hold of England Sevens winger Nick Royle in the face of an attractive offer the player has received from Vale Of Lune.
Coach Mark Nelson is understandably keen to keep the free-scoring three-quarter on board at the Woodlands in an enhanced role that encompasses playing with one off the field.
Nelson said: “Vale have made Nick an offer, but I have spoken to him on the ‘phone and I am extremely confident that we will come to an agreement that he will stay at Fylde.
“I would be very disappointed if he went to Vale.
“I have played for both Fylde and Vale and I have a great affinity for both clubs, but I don’t think it is the right thing for Nick Royle at this stage to go and play for Vale.
“At this moment I would say he would stay at Fylde, and I am very hopeful we can make arrangements to do that.
“That could mean a role within the club, maybe promoting Sevens rugby in the local community, rather than just being a player.”
Fylde have a pre-season friendly on Saturday when they take on Sale Sharks at the Woodlands, kick-off 3pm.
Nelson said: “It will be a proper game, and I am in contact with Pete Anglesea at Sale to find out what sort of squad they will be sending.
“But they are a Premiership side and I am sure there will be a good squad.
“It will give people who haven’t seen any rugby in these parts for a few months to see our new signings in action, as well as an opportunity to watch Premiership players.”
Evan Stewart and Steve McGinnis, still recovering from injury, will be forced to miss the match, as will Chris Briers, who is away that weekend.
Fylde’s ranks are likely to be boosted by the increased availability of forward Harrison Collins, who will be freer from his commitments at Durham University.
Fylde have asked Leicester Tigers if they can take Richard De Carpentier on loan, but face stiff competition from Nottingham, who also want him.