Burnage are next up for Douglas Rugby Club at Port-e-Chee this weekend, with a 12.30pm kick-off on Saturday.

If the formbook is anything to go by, a close match is forecast.

The ex-North One side are sixth in Regional Two North West and lost to Douglas’s last opponents Altrincham Kersal by a six-point margin in September.

Ahead of Thursday night training, the Manx squad seems more settled as recent recruits bed in to the Douglas way. Spencer Cope is an obvious plus and alongside Angus Wheeler, James Good and Luca Simmons, competition for places is hotting up.

Liam Kirkpatrick’s return tops the list and coach Phil Cringle’s wise management of resources brings this talented flanker or number eight back on a gradual curve of re-introduction.

Percy Hampton should be recovered and, amongst the three-quarters, perhaps the surprise package is winger Cal Dentith. Seen previously as a flanker, his determined defence and carrying ability amongst heavy traffic has been of note.

Brett Pyke’s knock last week will leave a fitness question mark and New Zealander Bradley Bowmar’s re-appearance is yet to be inked, but Cringle’s selection task remains a healthy conundrum.