National 2 North
Westoe v Hull
Wood Terrace: 2.15pm
Westoe: S Jordan, J Clark, D Haswell, B Pears, G Haswell, M Bedworth, C Judson, G Nesbit, R Thirkell, R Elliott, I Robinson, J Younghusband, A Myers, J Okwe-Pearson, B Morris. Reps: D Loughran, R Adair, T Banks, J Maw, A Kirton. Meet 1pm. Sponsored by Dunes Adventure Island.
Westoe 11 v Billingham 11
Harton Technical College: 2pm
Seconds: T Shields, C Laycock, R Beattie, G Parkin, D Rundle, C Hitchcock, M Booth, J Mackay, G Walker, K Jones, J Atkinson, S Robertson, A Gaillot, A N Other, M Thompson. Reps: R Burrows, T Hope, J Trott, A Goode, S Farrar, M Albers. Meet 12.30pm. Sponsored by Beacon Electrical (NE) Ltd.
Durham Junior League
Westoe 111 v Blyth 111
Thirds: From R Scorer, D Auty, A Thompson, A Charlton, M Lowrie, C Mackley, P Hagan, R Elliott, S Ramsay, C Gillespie, M Morris, G McManus, J Gregg, A Kingswell, L Johnson, J Thompson, G Aldus, D Warburton, J Deacon, A Kail, M Mackay, G Colman. Meet noon. Sponsored by Port of Tyne Authority and JML.
Westoe Colts v Northern Colts
Oakleigh Gardens: 2pm
Colts: From A Frost-Younger, J Turvill, D Fada, J Nellist, B Roberts, A Caurley, M Tate, D Duggan, J Carey, J Wilkinson, T Younghusband, R Graham, D Connolly, A Thompson, J Hughes, S Pearce, K Robson, O White, J Dickens, M Sweet, S Richardson, J McKenzie, C McGuigam. Meet noon. Sposored by C Marlow, D Hutchinson.
WESTOE are hoping to get their push for promotion back on track when Hull come to town tomorrow (writes Clive Crickmer).
This has been rather derailed in the past fortnight with defeat at lowly Nuneaton being followed by Loughborough Students’ successful appeal to have last Saturday’s game postponed which has caused much annoyance at Wood Terrace.
And director of rugby Andy Howells admits that he is having to shuffle his team about because of a spate of a spate of injuries and unavailability.
Strong and versatile back Charlie Rayner, whose medical studies have taken him temporarily to London, is a big miss and winger Gareth Kerr has cried off because of family commitments.
This gives teenagers Scott Jordan, recently arrived from West Hartlepool, and Bradley Pears - who will start at full back and right wing respectively - a chance to a chance to prove their mettle.
And fortunately spring-heeled centre James Clark, who will start, and winger Tommy Banks, on the bench, are back from injury.
It is always a tough battle with Hull, currently middle of the table, and although the Dunes Adventure Island-sponsored Shieldsmen narrowly beat them 23-17 away from home at the end of October, the Tykes took the honours 24-19 on their last visit to Tyneside.
Howells said: “We are looking forward to getting back into the groove and while we have had to rather juggle about with the team recently we will do the business of we play to our full potential.
“Hull are a good, hard side and we know it is going to be a physical game but we are well up for it.
“We have studied the tape of our defeat at Nuneaton, addressed our mistakes in training and now want to put it behind us and press on.”
That Loughborough postponement - fully ventilated in this column last week - continues to rankle, stretching as it does the season to May 21, with a possible promotion play-off game after that.
Now it has emerged that the Students’ officials suggested possible alternative arrangements that would have disrupted the fixtures of four other clubs - including even scrapping the Hull and Harrogate game as it will almost certainly have no bearing on promotion or relegation.
Westoe chairman Duncan Murray declared: “Their arrogance seems to know no bounds. As a university they are state-funded with none of the problems everyone else has.
“If they had to sell raffle tickets to raise money or seek match ball sponsors they may learn a little humility.”
*Westoe under-16 centre Reggie Fasa has been awarded a rugby scholarship at Barnard Castle School whose illustrious old boys include brothers Tony and Rory Underwood and Matthew Tait.
He certainly seems to be one for the future who hopefully will preserve his Wood Terrace links which began with the Minis when he was just seven.
Later this month he makes his debut for Newcastle Falcons junior academy against Edinburgh at Cochrane Park and the following week, March 27, will play for the North of England against the Midlands in his age group.
Exciting times, indeed, for the youngster, just turned 16, who in July goes on a rugby tour of Canada and Florida with fellow pupils at Harton Technical College before resuming his studies as a boarder at his new school.
Westoe’s junior secretary Jan Duncan said: “As well as being a most promising player, Reggie is a very likeable lad popular with teammates and coaches. This prestigious scholarship is well deserved and we all wish him every success.”
His proud mum Emma Baker tells me: “His life now revolves around rugby. It’s hard to believe now that when he first played the game he didn’t like it at all!”