North Midlands have called up Birmingham & Solihull lock Chris Goddard and Luctonians flanker Aiden Cheshire for their final County Championship Bill Beaumont Cup Second Division South grouo match against Somerset at Taunton’s Hyde Park ground on Saturday May 21 (3pm).
Goddard, who led Birmingham & Solihull to the North Midlands Cup two weeks ago, and Cheshire are among eight personnel changes to the starting line-up as North Midlands aim to end a disappointing campaign on a high.
Successive defeats by Kent and Devon mean that North Midlands can no longer win the South Group and progress to the national final at Twickenham on May 29.
North Midlands will now focus on trying to avoid a whitewash and have rejigged their side with Bromsgrove prop Bobby Green taking over as captain from Dudley Kingswinford lock Ed Parry.
The other changes are the switch of Steve Leach of Old Halesonians from number eight to centre in place of Ashley Elvers who scored a try in the defeat by Devon.
Rod Petty and Sam Boxall will form a new half-back partnership with Will Crane and Steff Thorp called up in the front row, Goddard and Nick Murphy in the second row and Connor Nicholls in the back row.
North Midlands v Somerset:
15 Oli Rayner (Old Halesonians); 14 Tom Hunt (Bromsgrove), 13 Frank Kelly (Luctonians), 12 Steve Leach (Old Halesonians), 11 Josh Trinham (Stourbridge); 10 Rod Petty (Stourbridge), 9 Sam Boxall (Luctonians); 1 Bobby Green (Bromsgrove – captain), 2 Will Crane (Moseley Oak), 3 Steff Thorp (Stourbridge), 4 Nick Murphy (Stourbridge), 5 Chris Goddard (Birmingham & Solihull), 6 John Kelly (Luctonians), 7 Aiden Cheshire (Luctonians), 8 Connor Nicholls (Stourbridge). Replacements: Joe White (Luctonians), Gino Belmonte (Bromsgrove), Sam Knott (Worcester University and Luctonians), Ed Parry (Dudley Kingswinford), Jacob Nash (South Leicester), Ashley Elvers (Stourbridge), Joe Bridger (Stourbridge).