The Lambs have named their side to travel to Wales on Sunday to take on Boys Club of Wales, their fourth game of the season.
The 2pm kick off at Methyr RFC is subject to the variables of Storm Dennis, but with a 4G surface available the pitch at least will be playable as the Lambs look for their second victory of the season having beaten Irish Exiles in the opener and then suffered back to back defeats to Bristol Bears and Crawshay’s Welsh XV.
Three of the starting fifteen that unluckily lost out to Crawshay’s are starting again against Boys Club of Wales, Pangbourne College’s Benjamin Smith-Bannister is again at number 8, the vice captain is the only player to start all four Lambs fixtures this season.
Also retained in the starting line up is Mount Kelly full back Dominic Bourne, making his second appearance, and Bishop Wordsworth’s Christopher Chaddock, who moves from 12 to 13 for his third Lambs cap.
Two players are promoted from last week’s bench, Wisbech Grammar’s George Dady will make his fourth appearance and starts in the second row, while Sutton Valence’s Presley Farrance is at scrum half, making his third appearance.
Mount Kelly’s Alex Rowe will captain the side, the blindside flanker last played in the defeat to Bristol Bears and is set for his third appearance, Milton Abbey’s Archie Fuller, who also last faced Bristol Bears, completes the back row on the openside flank.
Joining Rowe and Smith-Bannister in the leadership group for the game is a second vice-captain in the form of loosehead Sebastian Dickens, the Felsted man was another whose last appearance was against Bristol Bears. Alongside Dickens is Henley College’s Arun Watkins at hooker, like Dickens he is set for his third cap and last played against Bristol Bears. Completing the front row is Millfield’s Archie Owlett, who makes his second appearance, his first coming in the season opener against Irish Exiles. The pack is completed by Sir Thomas Rich’s Conrad Holmes, who, like Owlett, last appeared against Irish Exiles.
Three players in the backline return having rested last week after playing Bristol Bears the week before, Sutton Valence’s Luke Trigg is on the right wing having made his debut at full back against Bristol, while Mount St Mary’s College’s Samuel Marsden is on the other wing, also making his second appearance. King’s Gloucester’s Thomas Day is alongside Chaddock in the centres, and like Chaddock he makes his third appearance.
That leaves the sole debutant in this week’s Lambs XV, Framlingham College fly half Jake Mermigan, though with Day and Farrance either side of him, he is surrounded by plenty of experience.
On the bench Hereford Cathedral School’s Francis Perks, and Felsted’s Jack North both wait in the wings after starting last week, while Clayesmore’s Joshua Burvill and Bloxham’s James Boardman both return having last played against Bristol.
Those four are joined by four players that are set to make their Lambs debuts, Giggleswick’s Hughie Vyas, Epsom College’s Daniel Davies, Reed’s Harry Gray, and Emanuel’s Jack Seymour.
Speaking ahead of the game in Wales, Lambs Director of Rugby Alex Laybourne said:
“Sunday brings with it another challenge for this group of players as they travel to Wales to take on the Boys Club of Wales, who are always well drilled and prepared, and are a seriously passionate side, making this fixture one of the toughest tests we face, particularly as we travel to Merthyr in potentially wet and windy conditions!”
“The task for the boys is to enjoy themselves and play freely, using some of the lessons they heave learnt over the season, to put in a performance that will put the Boys Club under pressure.”
With Calcutta Cup style conditions predicted, the challenge is on for the Lambs to stick to their ‘fast and free’ style of play. If Lambs history teaches us anything, though, it is that they most certainly will stick to it.
Lambs XV v Boys Club of Wales – Sunday, 2pm, Methyr RFC
15 Dominic Bourne (Mount Kelly, apps 1)
14 Luke Trigg (Sutton Valence, 1)
13 Christopher Chaddock (Bishop Wordsworth’s, 2)
12 Thomas Day (King’s Gloucester, 2)
11 Samuel Marsden (Mount St Mary’s College, 1)
10 Jake Mermigan (Framlingham College, 0)
9 Presley Farrance (Sutton Valence, 2)
1 Sebastian Dickens (Felsted, vc, 2)
2 Arun Watkins (Henley College, 2)
3 Archie Owlett (Millfield, 1)
4 George Dady (Wisbech Grammar, 3)
5 Conrad Holmes (Sir Thomas Rich’s, 1)
6 Alex Rowe (Mount Kelly, captain, 2)
7 Archie Fuller (Milton Abbey, 1)
8 Benjamin Smith-Bannister (Pangbourne College, vc, 3)
Replacements: 16 Francis Perks (Hereford Cathedral, 2), 17 Joshua Burvill (Clayesmore, 1), 18 Hughie Vyas (Giggleswick, 0), 19 Jack North (Felsted, 1), 20 Daniel Davies (Epsom College, 0), 21 Harry Gray (Reed’s, 0), 22 James Boardman (Bloxham, 2), 23 Jack Seymour (Emanuel, 0).
Lambs 2019/20 Schedule:
Sunday 19th January – Lambs RFC 42-22 Irish Exiles, Ealing Trailfinders RFC
Sunday 26th January – Lambs RFC 7-52 Bristol Bears Academy, QEH School, Failand
Saturday 8th February – Lambs RFC 12-19 Crawshay’s Welsh XV, Ealing Trailfinders RFC
Sunday 17th February – Lambs RFC v Boys Club of Wales, Merthyr RFC
Sunday 23rd February – Lambs RFC v Coventry Academy, Butts Park Arena
Monday 2nd March – Lambs RFC v Nottingham Rugby (Lady Bay)
Saturday 28th March to Friday 10th April (approx.) – Lambs RFC tour of South Africa