Fylde v Plymouth preview: Sale duo have time to shine

Fylde RFC player-coach Paul Arnold has praised the way Sale Sharks pair Jake Pope and George Nott have bought into the Woodlands club's ethos.

Friday, 7th October 2016, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 7:39 pm
Connor Wilkinson scores for Fylde against Esher

The duo have signed for Fylde on a dual registration basis from the Premiership club and the young, up-and-coming players are again included in the Fylde line-up for tomorrow’s home clash with third-placed Plymouth Albion in National League One.

Lock Nott and prop forward Pope are both members of the England Under-21 squad.

Arnold said: “They are both playing really well. We play in a different style to Sale, so we are helping their development and pushing them on in their rugby careers.

“At the same time, it is good for us as a club that we can call on two such talented lads who want to come and play for us.

“It is good experience for them and they are buying into what we are trying to.

“When we were down to 13 men against Esher last Saturday, George Nott was everywhere on the field, putting his body on the line for the cause.”

His efforts helped Fylde to their first win of the season but they will need to be on their mettle tomorrow against a side who have won four of their five matches so far

Plymouth, who went into administration last season, are now under new ownership and have established a direct link with neighbours Exeter Chiefs of the Premiership.

No fewer than nine Chiefs players have joined Albion on a dual registration basis and this gives the club a solid base from which to launch a promotion campaign.

That is something that is not lost on Arnold, who said: “Plymouth have a good set-piece and plenty of good ball-carriers.

“It was a great effort to beat Esher last week, when there were times when we only had 13 players on the field. Obviously, we can’t let that happen every week.

“At times September was a very dark month for us but now we are looking to build some momentum from the Esher win.”

Fylde will be without prop Simon Griffiths and back row forward Ben Vernon, who are both unavailable.

Gareth Gore, who had a spell out of the game because he was preoccupied setting up a new business, has been named as one of the replacements.

Second row forward Nick Gray is out with a back injury, while out-of-form centre Scott Rawlings has been omitted from the matchday 20.

Fylde: Dorrington; Bingham, Wilkinson, Briers, Brennand; Smith, Nicholls; Simpson, Burtonwoodd, Pope, Arnold, Nott, Turley, Stewart, Fairbrother. Replacements: Wild, Maher, Gore, Lamprey, Armstrong. Kick-off 3pm.