BLAYDON have recalled veteran scrum-half Hall Charlton for tomorrow’s SSE National One derby at Tynedale, writes MARK SMITH.
The former Newcastle Falcons star replaces Jonny Burn in the No 9 shirt, with director of rugby Micky Ward explaining: “Jonny was at Tynedale for the start of the season and we just felt it wasn’t right to start him for this one.”
The only other change is likely to be on the wing where Tom Jeffrey comes in for Gavin Painter, having recovered from the stomach bug which ruled him out of last weekend’s 28-22 win over Rosslyn Park.
That result, Blaydon’s ninth win in a row, propelled them to second in the table and, with leaders Ealing playing third-placed Rosslyn Park tomorrow, they could even end the weekend in the promotion spot should results go their way.
Tynedale also carry considerable momentum into the Corbridge clash after Saturday’s emphatic win at Wharfedale but face a race against time to get their front-row in place.
Props Alex Westgarth and Dave Dickinson both limped out last weekend, while Scott Wilson is unavailable due to Newcastle Falcons commitments.
Talk of a move for Falcons’ James Hall has been scuppered by his four-week suspension, while at hooker the prospects are similarly uncertain.
Dave Cherry is rated “touch-and-go” by chairman of rugby John Shotton after six months out injured, while George McGuigan’s availability hinges on whether he can return in time from Ireland Under-20s duty.
There is also a big regional derby in National Two North as third-placed Darlington Mowden Park travel to third-bottom Westoe without the services of wing Sean Brown due to Newcastle Falcons Under-18s duty.
Westoe old-boy Lewis Johnston fills the gap, Guy Van Den Dries starts in the second-row and Danny Dixon packs down at No 8 following the birth of his baby on Tuesday.
Co-coach Danny Brown said: “Like any derby the league table and your form are not really that important.
“There are also a lot of distractions around at this time of year, but we will just go up there and do what we can.”
Westoe director of rugby Andy Howells picks from a full deck, saying: “I can understand why we are the under-dogs, but we will just give it our best.”