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Lancashire Under 20s aim to go the distance

17 April 2013

  • Artificial surface can help expansive approach
  • Club support can boost Twickenham chances

Lancashire Under 20s coach Paul Arnold is confident that the artificial pitch at Maidenhead RFC, which will be the venue for his team’s National Under 20 Competition semi-final against Berkshire on Sunday (April 21, 2013) will suit the Red Rose running rugby style.

He is also optimistic that with support from the Lancashire clubs who are contributing players to the squad, his team will have an additional edge in staying power, which will help them to produce a high-intensity performance for the full 80 minutes.

“One of our issues during the campaign has been the fact that our players have all been playing 80 minutes on Saturdays for their clubs and then trying to repeat the process the following day, which is a tough ask when the Under 20s are playing a very open style of rugby where kicking is kept to a minimum and everyone has to work extra hard to develop that approach,” says Senior Coach, Arnold.

“That’s how we want to play as a coaching team and the players obviously buy into it and enjoy it, but it has meant that teams have been able come back at us in the last quarter. In the quarter-final against North Midlands we had real anxieties before we came through and that's something we’ve looked at.

“Maybe we’ll have to kick the ball a bit more and pace ourselves, but I’m hoping that clubs will be able to support our cause by resting players when they get the chance on Saturday so that as many of them are as fresh as possible to face Berkshire.

“I understand how club coaches have their own priorities, but at the end of the day not many players get the chance to play at Twickenham and if we get a good 80 minutes out of them on Sunday, these lads might make it. We want to give the players, the county and the clubs a real boost by getting there and having a team that can go flat out for the whole game will help us to achieve that goal.”

Lancashire will add hooker Phil Mills (Preston Grasshoppers) to their quarter-final squad and make a late check on a couple of niggling injuries to other pack members.

The squad will seek to get a feel for playing on an artificial surface by using the 3G pitch at Burnage RFC on Friday night.

Lancashire squad

Backs
L Allen (Preston)
T Bedlow (Rossendale)
A Elliott (Preston)
C Kohler (Caldy)
P Paine (Sedgley Park)
Ben Rath (Fylde)
W Sharratt (Rossendale)
M Simmons (Fylde)
C Strong (Fylde)
C Trueman (Cardiff Met Uni)

Forwards
T Burtonwood (Fylde)
C Cooke (Fylde)
O Farley (Preston)
J Gorst (Ormskirk)
J Lord (Rossendale)
C McGrath (Sedgley Park)
P Mills (Preston)
A Murray (Preston)
J Pedder (Aston on Mersey)
S Peet (Liverpool St. Helens)
A Scully (Sefton)
O Trippier (Fylde)
E Webster (Preston)
J Windle (Liverpool St Helens)

 

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