Wids work­ing hard ahead of new sea­son

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Theguide -

AL­THOUGH it is just over a month since the sea­son ended, Widnes RUFC are al­ready mak­ing plans for next sea­son to make sure they hit the ground run­ning when the new ‘Lan­cashire Leagues’ get un­der way.

Tick ‘n’ pass ses­sions have al­ready com­menced ev­ery Tues­day and Thurs­day evenings prior to the start of pre­sea­son train­ing which be­gins on Tues­day, July 3.

To help with the early work will be fit­ness guru Graham For­shaw.

The ex-Wids man is fly­ing in from his home in Aus­tralia for a month and has agreed to help out with the early fit­ness work to make sure the play­ers are in tip-top con­di­tion come the start of the new cam­paign.

Also eager to make an early im­pres­sion with the coaching staff will be the sec­ond-team, who have a pre-sea­son fix­ture pen­cilled in against lo­cal rivals Wi­gan.

The club have also ar­ranged a pre-sea­son fix­ture against lo­cal rivals West Park on the af­ter­noon of Satur­day, Au­gust 18.

Not only will be an early op­por­tu­nity to claim the lo­cal brag­ging rights against one of their clos­est rivals, the in­ten­tion is that this fix­ture will be played ev­ery year and will be named the ‘John Ratcliffe Me­mo­rial Cup’.

On the same date, it will also be the Club’s Regis­tra­tion Day where new play­ers are in­vited to come along and see what the Wids has on of­fer. ● Widnes RUFC have also re­ceived a gen­er­ous donation ● from NatWest as part of their ‘Rugby Force’ ini­tia­tive.

The money will be used towards car­ry­ing out var­i­ous DIY jobs around the club, whether it be paint­ing walls, re­pair­ing dam­age or just a gen­eral clean and tidy-up in readi­ness for the 2018-19 cam­paign.

It will take place on the week­end of June 23-24 and the club are ask­ing for mem­bers to vol­un­teer to come along and help out. ● Fol­low­ing on from the de­ci­sion taken last month by a num­ber of clubs – in­clud­ing Widnes RUFC and lo­cal rivals Liver­pool St He­lens and West Park – to leave South Lan­cashire Cheshire One and the cur­rent Rugby Foot­ball Union struc­ture to go their own way – the new Lan­cashire County Rugby Union Leagues have be­gun to take shape.

Whilst the clos­ing date for clubs to join re­mains open un­til tomorrow, the last few days has seen a flurry of ac­tiv­ity, in­clud­ing the an­nounce­ment of a new man­age­ment com­mit­tee and a new main spon­sor.

In ad­di­tion, a frame­work of how the new sea­son will op­er­ate has been drawn up.

The man­age­ment com­mit­tee will con­sist of five group mem­bers who have been named as chair­man Ian Spivey (Ald­wini­ans), deputy chair­man Gary Mor­gan (Liver­pool Col­le­giate), com­pe­ti­tion sec­re­tary Howard Hughes (Tyldes­ley), Premier Di­vi­sion se­cre- tary Brian Hurst (Lit­tle­bor­ough) and First Di­vi­sion Sec­re­tary Alan Whalley (Ald­wini­ans).

Also, Wi­gan-based ADM Leisurewear, who have more than 20 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence in sup­ply­ing cus­tomised per­son­alised cloth­ing in the UK mar­ket, will spon­sor the Leagues for the next two years.

The man­age­ment com­mit­tee have ac­knowl­edged that there may be some mi­nor teething prob­lems in the early days as the new League gets up and run­ning, but have asked the founder clubs to take a leap of faith as they en­ter into this brave new world by pro­vid­ing them with a voice as well as a will­ing­ness to listen and be flex­i­ble as is­sues arise.

Sharon McLean

Paul McLin­don in ac­tion dur­ing the last game be­tween Widnes and West Park who are now set to com­pete for the John Ratcliffe Me­mo­rial Cup in Au­gust.

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