Leader Sharman may roar back for Town

Ryan Chappell scores a try for Spalding.
Ryan Chappell scores a try for Spalding.

Former Spalding skipper Harry Sharman could be back for Town’s trip to Huntingdon & District just when his team-mates need him most.

The inspirational Sharman, who handed over the captaincy to Ryan Chappell last November, hasn’t played for the first team since breaking his nose in the opening day defeat to Belgrave in September.

Former Spalding skipper Harry Sharman (front) could be back in the first team line-up for the first time since the opening game of the season.

Former Spalding skipper Harry Sharman (front) could be back in the first team line-up for the first time since the opening game of the season.

But after a run-out for the second XV Nomads on Saturday, Chappell is hopeful that his predecessor as club captain will return to the fray for Saturday’s trip to the Cambridgeshire town.

Chappell said: “We hope to include Harry in the team for what he brings us both in leadership and playing quality.

“The guys follow Harry and we’ve got a good feel about this weekend’s game which we’re all desperate to win.”

However, Spalding will be without scrum half Rob Lucas who faces an eight-week lay-off because of a knee injury.

Chappell himself is also a doubt due to work commitments, while back Tim Waltham faces a fitness test after picking up a leg injury in the 78-14 defeat at Derby on Saturday.

“We knew what to expect from Derby but we didn’t get off to the quickest of starts and within five minutes, they had scored their first try,” Chappell said.

“We had a good 20-minute spell in the second half when we camped inside Derby’s 22-metre line.

“When we play at our best, we can compete with anyone in the league.

“It’s just a mixture of things that are letting us down like. inexperience, lack of fitness and a number of lads who are getting used to playing top level rugby.”

Spalding know that time is running out to save their Midlands One East lives, with Saturday’s game at Huntingdon the first of 11 games between now and the end of the season in April.

However, only four of these are at home of which are three are against the sides currently second, third and fourth in the league, namely Old Northamptonians, Kettering and Bedford Athletic.

Chappell said: “It can be difficult to play against a top side because you think that you’re beaten before you go out on the field.

“But playing the best sides brings out our best and hopefully we’ll have the mindset to go out and do our best.”

Saturday’s fixtures

Midlands One East: Bedford Athletic v Derby, Belgrave v Bugbrooke, Huntingdon & District v Spalding, Newark v Mansfield, Old Northamptonians v Kettering, Paviors v Ilkeston, Syston v Market Rasen & Louth.

Midlands Four East (South): Brackley v Bedford Swifts, Corby v Thorney, Deepings v Stamford College Old Boys, Old Newtonians v St Neots.