Huddersfield Preview

By Dave Picken - August 31 2017
Huddersfield Preview Here we go again. Our last league game was an end of season try fest at Huddersfield YMCA where we won 64-27 to finish third in North One East. The same opposition visit Brinkburn for this season's opener with both clubs changing key personnel during the summer (kick off 3.00) ....

 Both clubs have new coaches with former West centre Stuart Hardy taking over from the highly successful Iain Dixon.  Stu is a much respected coach at Yarm School and has taken them to a Twickenham final.

YM arrive with their own new player coach in Mick Piper, a member of  the well known Cleckheaton rugby dynasty, and a 26 stone South African prop in Josh Crickmay.

Stu Hardy takes over a squad missing some of the most notable players from last season. Top  try scorer Liam Checksfield has attracted the interest of Newcastle Falcons and Northumbria University where he will be studying for the next three years.

Checksy was on the bench for the Falcons in their friendly against Nottingham last weekend – coming on for the last quarter. So, while he’s still eligible to play for West, it’s unlikely he will be seen very often in the red green and white.

Similarly, Aaron Myers has other commitments and fellow back row Lee Maddison has moved away from town to take up a new job in the Midlands.

We have also lost last season’s skipper Dan Boatman to retirement. However, the result has been a decent turn out in training as opportunities open up for younger players.

Alex Barker is looking fit and impressed against West Bridgford and Rochdale, while Scott Butcher's transformation to a back row player has been remarkable andf he will provide both backs and back row cover. Ben Armstrong comes on in the wing for his debut after impressing in pre-season.

Stu is happy with pre-season and specially with the Rochdale game where the support play and offloading was excellent. No 8 Sam Miller was prominent in those attacks but will be missing for a few weeks with knee ligament damage. Liam Austwicke, the club’s only new signing, will also be missing because of work commitments.

WEST:  Luke Mallinson, Ben Armstrong, Peter Youll, Gavin Painter, Will Hilditch, Zac Southern, Ryan Painter (capt), Adam Coates, Andrew Rollins, Alex Key, Joe Rafferty, Michael Hogan, Andy Turner, John Bunter, Alex Barker.

Changes: Jordan Foulds, Scott Butcher, Jake Linighan.

Huddersfield YMCA:  Sam Fletcher, Stuart Morton, Tom Clough, Dom Horn, Tom Bullock, Mick Piper, Joah Bradley, Stuart Dyke, Ben Hill, Josh Crickmay, Ed Black, Jack Housley, James Tindall, Sam Hodge, Josh Lumb.

Changes:  Harry Scholes,Myles Watson, James Bell