Prop forward Adam Lewis has been confirmed as Fylde’s first XV skipper for the 2018-19 season, which begins at home to Otley on September 1.
The 31-year-old, who also skippered Lancashire to County Championship success last month, was a mini-junior at the club and a prominent player at Kirkham Grammar School before making his first team debut in the 2006/7 season.
Lewis left to join Sedgley Tigers in 2010 before returning to Fylde in 2013 and has now made 195 appearances for the club.
He earned senior representative honours for England Counties in 2014 and has also been a regular part of the successful Lancashire squad over recent seasons for good measure.
“I’m absolutely delighted to be asked to captain the first XV in the 2018/19 season,” he said.
“To play for the first XV is a huge honour, but to captain the team – a goal I set for myself back in my debut season in 2008 – is a privilege.
”I’ve been fortunate to be led by some fantastic players in the role and I’ve seen many different styles of leadership since my first XV debut a decade ago. I hope I can utilise that experience and bring my own passion of playing for this historic club to the role.”
Fylde are looking to re-establish themselves next season after finishing bottom of National League One in 2017/18.
Three wins from 30 games saw them cut adrift at the foot of the table but Lewis hopes the squad can learn lessons from those struggles.
“Last year was a very hard campaign for our squad,” he said.
“We should have learned a lot from it, in particular how we conduct ourselves, how we prepare to play at our best for this level of rugby and how we earn respect from each other.
“I feel very passionate that all players need to take a long hard look at how they prepared and performed in that season.
“All of the players who made their debuts last year should be encouraged by the experience, but they must ignore the tag of being a ‘young’ player.
“The time for them to step up is now and we must all deliver what the management team asks of us.
“We must prepare, act and think professionally on and off the field to be successful in what is a brutal level of rugby.
“The absolute minimum we can do is to put our body on the line with maximum effort at all times for the club."
West Lancashire rugby union followers won’t have to wait long for the derby rivalry between Fylde RFC and Preston Grasshoppers to be reborn next season.
The season’s first National Two North clash between relegated Fylde and promoted Hoppers is set for Preston’s Lightfoot Green on the second Saturday of the campaign, September 8. The return match at the Woodlands will be a Christmas cracker on December 22.
The fixture list includes four clubs Fylde have never faced in league rugby before: Chester, Hinckley, Peterborough Lions and Sheffield Tigers.
FYLDE FIXTURES 2018/19
1 OTLEY H
8 Preston G A
15 MACCLESFIELD H
22 Leicester Lions A
29 SHEFFIELD TIGERS H
6 Tynedale A
13 PETERBOROUGH LIONS H
20 Hinckley A
27 HULL IONIANS H
3 Stourbridge A
17 SOUTH LEICESTER H
24 Chester A
1 WHARFEDALE H
8 HUDDERSFIELD H
15 Sedgley Park A
22 PRESTON G H
5 Macclesfield A
12 LEICESTER LIONS H
19 Sheffield Tigers A
26 TYNEDALE H
2 Peterborough Lions A
9 HINCKLEY H
16 Hull Ionians A
2 STOURBRIDGE H
9 South Leicester A
23 CHESTER H
30 Wharfedale A
6 Huddersfield A
13 SEDGLEY PARK H
27 Otley A