Hoppers’ guest of honour

Rugby Football Union president Bob Reeves is at Hoppers' game tomorrow
Rugby Football Union president Bob Reeves is at Hoppers' game tomorrow
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Preston Grasshoppers wind up their National League Two North campaign with two contrasting home games – against potential promotion and relegation clubs.

Sandwiched in between tomorrow’s date with Macclesfield, and the visit of Sheffield Tigers on April 27, is a renewal of old rivalries with neighbours Fylde.

That will be the new annual Good Friday clash for a trophy named in memory of free-scoring Fylde and Lancashire winger Brendan Hanavan, who lost his battle with cancer last year.

The clubs will take it in turns to host the challenge each year, with Hoppers staging the first.

Next Friday’s game kicks off at 2pm and proceeds of a raffle and collection will go to a charity of Brendan’s family’s choice.

But first, Macclesfield come to Lightfoot Green at the top of the table tomorrow, where they are involved in a three-horse race for the one automatic promotion spot and the play-off place for the runner-up.

They are four points ahead of Stourbridge – who also have two games left – and nine clear of Darlington Mowden Park, who have three games to play, including a tasty last-day home clash with Macclesfield.

In December, Macclesfield had a 25-3 home victory over Hoppers, who are currently seventh.

It is a big day at Lightfoot Green for two other reasons – the club is staging its annual Ladies Day and hosting RFU president Bob Reeves, a former Hoppers player and Preston Grammar School pupil.

On the field, there are a few changes, with the interesting choice of Phil Mills in the back row.

Mills switched from hooker to flanker when Killian Wallace was injured during last week’s game, with Brad Tuff taking over in the front row, and that’s how they start tomorrow.

Phil Baines returns at centre, skipper Dominic Moon is back at No 8, hoping to see out the campaign before an operation in the close season, and Sam Wallbank reverts to lock.

Hoppers: Taylor; Trueman, Baines, Ward, Gargett; Davies, Whyte; Madden, Tuff, Altham, Wallbank, Murray, Mills, Lees, Moon.