Raiders rejig backline in search for first win

AN UNWANTED 100% losing record will end at Footes Lane tomorrow.

Sam Steventon offloads to Charlie Davies last week at Henley, watched by Owen Thomas. Davies will start at fly-half for Raiders tomorrow after Thomas picked up an injury against the Hawks. (Picture by Mike Marshall, 31280872)
Sam Steventon offloads to Charlie Davies last week at Henley, watched by Owen Thomas. Davies will start at fly-half for Raiders tomorrow after Thomas picked up an injury against the Hawks. (Picture by Mike Marshall, 31280872)

Both Guernsey Raiders and brand new opponents North Walsham go into the clash on the back of suffering three successive defeats at the start of the National Two East season, although both have shown periods of promise in September.

‘As much as this is a good opportunity to get our season going, we are up against opposition who are just as desperate as us to get the win,’ said Raiders director of rugby Jordan Reynolds.

‘We have never played North Walsham before. Many years ago they were higher up the leagues, they dropped down but have done well to get back-to-back promotions and to do that you must be a quality outfit.

‘So far this season they have shown they have the ability to score points. They have played some good sides like Canterbury and Bury St Edmunds and they managed to put 27 points on the board against BSE, so I don’t think their confidence will be shot at all – their results will not have deterred them, they will have encouraged them, especially having just taken the step up to this level.’

Guernsey have been forced into a couple of changes with Owen Thomas and Ciaran McGann having picked up short-term injuries last week at Henley.

It means a reshuffle in the backline with Charlie Davies shifting into fly-half, Callum Roberts moving into the centres while there will be starts for Tom Teasdale and Luke Sayer.

‘With Tom coming back in for more game-time, we felt it was easier to switch Charlie to 10. He has played for us there a couple of times and he finished off the game there last week when we lost Owen and I thought he looked good.

‘Moving Callum to 13 we have done a number of times before and we would like to get his hands on the ball a little bit more while we are always looking for opportunities to get Luke Sayer in, so there are exciting prospects in that backline.’

More good news for Raiders is that Tom Ceillam has been cleared to return to action slightly earlier than anticipated and will be among the replacements.

• Guernsey Raiders against North Walsham kicks off at 3pm tomorrow at Footes Lane.

Raiders team

Steventon, Morgan, Bray, Hillier, Smiler, Creber, Dom Rice, Horrocks, Simmonds, Davies, Smith, Teasdale, Roberts, Armstrong, Sayer. Replacements: Ceillam, Bellingham, Webb, Boyland, Dan Rice.

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