After making it fourteen consecutive league wins and progress in the Yorkshire Cup against Doncaster Phoenix, Huddersfield RU will look to end 2016 in fashion against Kendal at Lockwood Park this Saturday (2:15pm kick off).
Following relegation from the National Two North, the Field have bounced back with an incredible first half of the 2016/17 campaign which has seen Gareth Lewis’ side produce a 100% record with one of the best defensive records in the country.
The club, however, has been met with some very sad news with the recent death of popular former president Jack Wade, and head coach Lewis has called for his players to put on a spirited performance.
Wade was the man who instigated the club’s redevelopment and the move from the old location at Waterloo and will be greatly missed by everybody connected to Huddersfield RUFC. His contribution to the club’s progress was marked with Honorary Life Membership and the naming of the main stand in his honour. A minute silence will be held prior to the kick off in his memory. Lewis said:
“It promises to be an emotionally charged occasion at Lockwood Park on Saturday following the passing of Jack Wade. The lads fully understand the significance of Jack and his wife Pam’s huge contribution to the club and will go out on Saturday and hopefully make them both very proud.”
With the Christmas break in touchable distance, Lewis knows his side can’t afford to take their eyes off the fixture.
“It’s been a long slog since we got together way back in June and there are one or two sore bodies but we must put this to the back of our minds and concentrate on the job in hand.”
Kendal sit 7th in the National North Three after a plausible first half of the season, and will also look to end the year on a positive note after a 51-12 win against Firwood Waterloo last weekend.
Huddersfield, though, are in unstoppable form and pose one of the most formidable attacks as well as the league’s best defence. They will also take good memories from their previous 27-5 victory in September against their next opponents. Lewis said:
“The match against Kendal was without doubt one of our toughest games of the season and we are expecting it to be similar once again. We’ve had a really good week with Danny Brough (Jimmy Lowes will now come later on in the season) and Steve Boden coming in on Tuesday and hopefully the lads can apply some of the detail we worked on in Saturdays game.”
Lewis has made a few changes to his starting XV. Dan Jeffrey is called in at scrum-half with Joel Hinchliffe unavailable. Nick Sharpe also replaces Austen Thompson in the second row and Ben Hoyle replaces Lewis Bradley who sits on the bench alongside Austen and Callum Thompson.
The head coach has also revealed that Mark Pease could be out for 6 weeks with an ankle injury, whilst Adam Tamanis is recovering slowly from a calf tear and Kristian Sharples is soon to return from a shoulder injury.