`

Signings bring stability for final fixtures says Fylde coach Spragg

Tom Grimes
Tom Grimes
Share this article

Head coach Warren Spragg is hopeful that stability will breed some confidence for the remainder of the season at Fylde RFC, with most of the players expected to take the field at Bishop’s Stortford tomorrow now signed up for next season.

Head coach Warren Spragg is hopeful that stability will breed some confidence for the remainder of the season at Fylde RFC, with most of the players expected to take the field at Bishop’s Stortford on Saturday now signed up for next season.

The relegated club have continued to announce the retention of players this week, with Ralph Dowds, Tom Grimes and veteran former captain Chris Briers the latest to extend their contracts for 2018-19.

Winger Grimes has spent the second half of the season with the Upper Hutts Rams club in Auckland, New Zealand, and Spragg hopes he will return stronger for the experience.

Spragg told The Gazette: “Tom had a tricky time at Blaydon and then a difficult start to the season here, but hopefully the opportunity in New Zealand has helped him to tidy up the areas of his game he needed to work on.”

Spragg hinted that more new deals for current players would be confirmed before new arrivals are announced.

He added: “We do have some new signings confirmed and we are looking at some who haven’t played at National League level before. There are a few from levels five or six who are looking to challenge themselves at a higher level.

“There are still one or two positions where we are light. Hopefully we can get those sorted in the coming weeks, though there is no massive urgency.”

Three of relegated Fylde’s final four National One fixtures are away, starting with tomorrow’s visit to Bishop’s Stortford – the last team the Woodlands club beat more than four months ago.

Fylde head coach Warren Spragg said: “They have had a good, consistent season, so it will be difficult but we are looking forward to the game after a good, challenging session on Tuesday.”

Fylde could be without Dave Fairbrother and Tom Bailey due to injury with Spragg hoping winger Bailey’s knee problem has not ended his season early.

The large Fylde contingent who represented Lancashire Under-20s in their rampant 72-7 win over Buckinghamshire last weekend have come through unscathed.

They will next face Bedfordshire in the semi-finals of the County Championship Shield on Sunday week.

Spragg said: “Luckily Lancashire are so good the other side couldn’t lay a hand on them.

“I don’t think this competition should be played until the end of the season but I’m really pleased for the players. I want playing for Fylde to give them that opportunity to play for their county or the North of England.”

Fylde can start planning for National Two North derbies next season against Preston Grasshoppers, whose promotion as North Premier champions is now confirmed.

The former Fylde and Kirkham Grammar School fly-half Dan Bibby has been named in the England Sevens squad for the Commonweath Games in Australia.

The 27-year-old full-time sevens player represented England at the previous games in Glasgow and was in the GB squad which won silver at the Rio Olympics.

The tournament on the Gold Coast starts on April 13.