Morley face a tough challenge on the opening day of the season when they host our friends from County Durham. West Hartlepool, or West as they are known to their friends, gained promotion from Durham and Northumberland 1 with the last kick of their play-off game. Stand off Stu Waites kicked a difficult penalty to come from behind and outscore Heath by 24 - 23.
They have faced adversity in the past when they suffered 5 consecutive relegations from the Premiership when the money ran out. However, their committee and new players stuck together to keep the name of West Hartlepool RUFC going; a feat for which they deserve great credit.
The game, which is sponsored by the Past Presidents, kicks off at 3.00 pm and pre-match lunches will be available ... before the match.
On the day, a group of assessors will be attending to hold a "coherence" meeting at which they set common standards for assessing referees for the coming season. There will be 11 assessors around the ground watching the referee and then comparing notes afterwards. No pressure on referee Andy Morton then!!!
The photograph is from our last match with West Hartlepool on January 23rd, 2016. This was away to West when they won by 18-7 to gain revenge for their defeat at Scatcherd Lane where they lost 25-21.
How many in the photograph can you recognise? It is likely 3 of them will be playing on Saturday.
The teams selected are printed below.
Morley's team shows many changes from last season as retirements, people moving to high league clubs, people moving to other parts of the country (and world) and that old problem - injuries.
Andy Ellis (C)
Ryan Painter (capt)