Lions in Hoppers’ sights

Hoppers head coach Garth Dew is on standby to play
Hoppers head coach Garth Dew is on standby to play
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Preston Grasshoppers hope injury problems will not affect their chances of recording successive home wins for the first time this season when Leicester Lions come to Lightfoot Green tomorrow.

Fly-halves Tom Hurst and Alex Zavallis-Roebuck are both out after being hurt last week for Hoppers and Cyprus respectively, and there will be fitness checks on skipper Andy Napier and scrum-half Harry Moulding.

Mark Murray and Tom Forster are vying for the No.10 jersey, Sam Whyte is on standby if Moulding’s shoulder injury keeps him out and head coach Garth Dew will be in the back row if Napier misses out.

Although the Lions are six places above Preston in National League Two North, they have lost their last four away games after starting the campaign with two victories in a row on the road.

At home, Preston have won two, drawn one and lost two.

Looking for a fourth straight win in North One West, Vale of Lune host bottom club Widnes.

They are without the injured Tom Cvijanovic, Danny Lin and Paul McLaren-Dorrington and will choose the starting line-up from an 18-man squad.

That includes threequarter Michael Forrest, a Lancashire Under-20s player and senior Vale colt, Adam Foxcroft, who will deputise at lock for Cvijanovic, and forward Dan Rainford.

Widnes started the campaign with an away victory over Broughton Park, but have lost all 10 games since, five of them on the road.

They have just six points, including two bonus points.

Vale lie seventh, with six wins and five defeats. At home, they have won four out of six, including the last two.

Blackheath, unbeaten in their five home games in National One, host Fylde, who recorded only their second away win in five attempts a fortnight ago.

The Londoners are third, just three points behind the leaders, after 10 victories and two defeats.

Fylde prop Simon Griffiths is injured, skipper Chris Briers is unavailable and flanker Ben Vernon misses the whole of December after being banned for four weeks for a red card.

Hoppers (from): S Taylor; Jordan, Viney, Ward, Milliken; M Murray, Forster, Moulding, Whyte; Madden, C Taylor, Altham, McKenzie, A Murray, Napier, Dew, Lees, Proctor. Replacements: Holmes, Mabaya, Walker, Woof,

Vale (from): Higgin; Crookall, Dorrington, Owens, Birchall, Forrest; Macluskie, Lomas; Cowey, D Baines, Pillow, Yates, A Baines, Foxcroft, Rainford, Powers, Ayrton, S Wallbank.

Fylde: Dorrington; Bingham, Dowds, S Rawlings, Brennand; Johnson, Nicholls; Birchall, Mills, Lewis, Gray, G Rawlings, Moon, Stewat, Fairbrother. Replacements: Lavelle, Burtonwood, Goodman, Arnold, Spragg.