GAME DAY COYL

Game day looms large again, as does an opportunity for Webb Ellis Road to host some old friends. Looking at the game first; we welcome Northampton Old Scouts tomorrow, in a game that’s a 3pm kick-off. Old Scouts play their rugby in Midlands 1 East – the division Newbold performed so well in last season, and will be joined this coming season by newly promoted Peterborough, who The Lions – of course - knocked out of the cup on our travels last season.

Being established at ‘Midlands 1’ level, Old Scouts will prove a more appropriate test of Aggy’s new-look side than B&S Bees, who had too much quality, preparation and fitness for us last time out. B&S started pre-season training a month ahead of most teams in early June; and being a National 2/3 level club in recent years, with a more settled squad and with a very decent pre-season under their belts – it showed at times on the pitch. Whilst it was pleasing to secure 19 points against such quality, the 43 we conceded were a function of a team used to playing at a higher level than we’ve been accustomed to in recent years; and who have also benefited from a longer pre-season. That and The Lions blooding 8 new faces in a starting 15 who need to form new combinations and become match-ready together meant it was a game from which we took lessons and experience into this, a more appropriate fixture.

Off the pitch; some old faces from former times at Webb Ellis Road will be lingering with intent. Martin Fleetwood who played in The Lions’ high-flying teams of the 80’s and 90’s – who soared to the very top of the leagues in English rugby – is back on a short trip to the UK from his now home of New Zealand. Alan Ruddlesdin has arranged for a few notable figures from ‘the day’ – some names of whom you’ll perhaps recognise from the programme picture shown here from a National One League game of November 1991 against Gloucester - will be in attendance to test Bones’ ongoing ability to make fine ales disappear.

We are a club on the way back, and our primary focus has to be on Dave Addleton’s team moving forwards; but once every now and again, a brief look back at our heritage – and for some wise old heads to cast an approving eye over our new crop of talent filling their boots is a fine prospect.

The BBC website tells us it’s glorious sunshine tomorrow afternoon, with clear skies well into the early evening; the clubhouse is stocked with ales and other beverages to titillate even the most discerning palette – so what better place could one be than at Webb Ellis Road?

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