Connections Recruitment-sponsored Vagabonds host Morpeth Ladies this Saturday in what will be their first game at Ballafletcher in RFUW Championship North Two.
Vagas lost the away leg earlier in the season, mainly because of a lack of match practice and miscommunication. When Vagabonds travelled to play their Darlington fixture last month the Morpeth women turned out to support the Manx side. However, friendship will be left on the sideline for 80 minutes while the two competitive teams fight it out once more.
Injuries will dictate the Vagas selection this week. Cath Moore, who put in a sterling performance in their last outing against Sheffield, will join Vicky Leddy and Anne-Marie Rivers in the front row as Rachel Purnell is forced to rest a back injury.
It is likely that Rachel Beckley will be fit to reclaim her scrum-half jersey, allowing captain Fran Hunt to return to the back row to cause her usual carnage in the midfield which will give fly half Abi Corkish the time to distribute the ball to her backline.
Sophia Birchall returns to the fold after having a baby and will be flung into the deep end as she partners Chrissie Johnston in the centre while Jo McCabe’s shoulder injury leaves her out of action for four weeks.
Previous encounters between these two sides have produced some close matches with nail-biting finishes.
If both teams are on form this one could go either way and spectators will be in for a treat when the game kicks off at 3pm.
More rugby on page 38