Rugby: Wisbech relishing derby date with West Norfolk

Wisbech Rugby Club's Henry Lankfer, Shane Vickers, Andy Claydon, James Napier and David Wadsley at t

Wisbech Rugby Club's Henry Lankfer, Shane Vickers, Andy Claydon, James Napier and David Wadsley at training in midweek ahead of their big battle with West Norfolk - Credit: Archant

Wisbech are gearing up to face a resurgent West Norfolk in London Three Eastern Counties at Harecroft Road on Saturday.

West Norfolk are currently in fourth place, one above Wisbech, and if Leonard Veenendaal’s men are successful it will be their fourth straight home win this season.

The Men in Red’s last win – a resounding 71-0 triumph over Ipswich YM at home on November 3 – came before an unprecedented four-week break from all competitions.

But director of rugby Veenendaal is under no illusions of the threat West Norfolk bring.

He said: “The four-week break certainly does not help our cause. Being a local derby always adds extra spice and West Norfolk will be set to avenge their pre-season friendly loss to us in August.

“We’ve enjoyed a good home run since the end of September and have shown our mental toughness to bounce back against Ipswich in such a convincing manner after the disappointment at Woodbridge

“The lads have been training week in, week out in spite of the break in league fixtures and balancing it with work and other commitments. I’ve been impressed with the energy, commitment and togetherness they have shown in training over the last few weeks.

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“I’m particular looking forward to seeing club captain David Wadsley back in action after his knee injury during the Holt match in September. David has worked hard in rehab and training and is looking forward to getting on the pitch.”

The unbeaten Wildcats are in action at Eastern Counties Three West leaders Haverhill and team planning has been focused on fielding two strong, balanced sides.

Veenendaal added: “Come Saturday both sides will need to show a willingness to put everything on the line to get a result and we will need to give it our all for the full 80 minutes to reap the reward

“Saturday will hopefully be another fantastic advert for Wisbech rugby and I am looking forward to seeing another vociferous home crowd.”

A final 18-man squad and starting XV will be named on Friday after Thursday night’s training.

Squad, forrwards: Ben Wicks, David Wadsley, Henry Lankfer, Jeff Wilson, Josh Anderson, Jethro Rawling, Luke Green, Mikey Watts, Nathan Goodale, Nico Steenkamp, Skippy Parsons, Solomon Prestidge (c); backs: Andy Claydon, Henrikas Stankus, James Napier, Jon Turner, Paulius Tamoliunas, Raimondas Vinksna, Shane Vickers, Zac Lakey.