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North Walsham welcome unfamiliar opposition to Scottow

11:16 17 February 2017

Chris Godwin closes in on the line during North Walsham's excellent win at Ruislip. Picture: HYWEL JONES

Chris Godwin closes in on the line during North Walsham's excellent win at Ruislip. Picture: HYWEL JONES

Archant

Watford-based Fullerians, one of Hertfordshire’s oldest rugby clubs, will be making their first visit to North Walsham tomorrow.

Formed in 1925 as Watford Grammar School Old Boys RFC, their name was changed to Old Fullerians in honour of the school’s founder Dame Elizabeth Fuller, with the ‘Old’ being dropped in 1965 when the club went open.

Although this is only the second meeting between the clubs, the first being the away game in October, there is a tenuous link in that former England International Josh Lewsey, who began his rugby career as a mini at Scottow, later went through the Colts at Fullerians.

The visitors, who came into London One having topped London Two North West last season, currently sit in 11th place, 10 points clear of Chelmsford, and look to be clear of any threat of relegation. In the October meeting the Vikings had a 25-12 bonus point win despite failing to fire on all cylinders and losing the influential Will Hodgson to a red card.

Hodgson who has been switching from centre to No8 and back will be away this week but his spot in the back row is likely to be filled by skipper Ryan Oakes, with Tom Coller returning to the second row.

In the front row. Prop Tim Weber, who picked up an injury in last week’s 41-29 win at Ruislip, is rested, with Jonny Masters primed to take over and Tom Knights covering both back and front row from the bench.

Changes to the back line will probably see Jake Duffield taking the No9 shirt and Mike Braans going to the bench and Harry Downing, who impressed at Ruislip, replacing Ethan Benney on the wing. There is likely to be a new face on the bench if new signing Will Findlay’s registration goes through.

Walsham are currently fourth in the table, just five points behind Chingford, after winning six of their previous seven games.

The Raiders, who halted a losing sequence with their last kick win over Broadland Great Yarmouth, are at home to Norwich Union. Unable to field a consistent side, they have struggled somewhat of late although the evidence last week was that, regardless of the personnel, the team spirit is first rate.

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