Raiders to shuffle their pack

THE benefit of an unscheduled week’s rest has been tempered by Covid cases in the Raiders ranks.

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Dom Rice and Tom Ceillam are in isolation so will miss tomorrow’s big clash with Old Albanian at Footes Lane and with the management waiting on fitness tests for others including captain Lewis Hillier, director of rugby Jordan Reynolds admitted that the postponement of last week’s trip to Esher due to a flight cancellation has not been as advantageous as it could have been in terms of squad numbers.

‘It gave us a rest, but you cannot predict Covid,’ he said.

‘There is a chance we may get Lewis or Oscar Baird back from their injuries, but we will still be a bit thin on the ground.

‘Tom and Dom will not be in there, so there will have to be certain changes in the team, but we are not going to jump the gun. The good thing is it is a home game, so we don’t have to finalise things until Saturday.’

In Ceillam’s absence, Dan Morgan is set to come into the XV as the predominant line-out thrower but where he packs down is yet to be decided.

The two sides go into this weekend’s clash level on points, with Raiders one place above the visitors by virtue of having won more games.

Old Albanian have won seven of their 12 fixtures so far, but their impressive points-difference of 124 shows that the defeats they have suffered have been narrow ones. The most recent of those came last week in the testing conditions brought by Storm Arwen when they lost a close encounter with Leicester Lions by just two points.

The match will kick off at 2pm tomorrow at Footes Lane. More Page 39

n St Jacques Vikings have had to postpone tomorrow’s match with Bracknell, with the league leaders unable to raise a side to travel to the island.

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