North Midlands have named 12 newcomers in their squad for their opening match in this season’s Bill Beaumont County Championship against Cumbria at Bromsgrove on Saturday May 4 (3pm).
North Midlands warmed up with a training match against Midlands Under-20s last weekend and had 38 players at their training session on Wednesday evening.
The competition for places left Head Coach Steve Joslin and the selectors with some difficult choices to make and they have named a squad which includes players from different clubs with all three Domestic Unions that comprise North Midlands represented.
A number of players impressed playing for the Domestic Unions in the Three Counties Championship earlier this season.
Bromsgrove hooker James Gunther, Sutton Coldfield lock Jack Ward, Bromsgrove flanker Hugh Lockhart, Bournville scrum-half Rhys Harrhy, Sutton Coldfield wing Tom Burrows, Stourbridge centre Tom Mitchell and Old Saltleians full-back Michael Ho will all make their senior county debuts in the starting XV.
Ethan Priest, Jake Goulson, Josh Brown, Will Trumper and Ollie Neill are all in line to make their debuts off the bench.
North Midlands, who were relegated last season, will also play Oxfordshire at Oxford Harlequins on May 11 and Notts, Lincs & Derbyshire at Old Halesonians on May 18 in their other Division Three Pool One matches.
North Midlands. 15 Michael Ho (Old Saltleians); 14 Tom Burrows (Sutton Coldfield), 13 Tom Mitchell (Stourbridge), 12 Will Hodnett (Ludlow), 11 Ethan Walker (Bournville); 10 Will Harris (Bromsgrove), 9 Rhys Harrhy (Bournville); 1 Stefan Thorp (Stourbridge), 2 James Gunther (Bromsgrove), 3 Ryan Smeilus (Bridgnorth), 4 Jack Ward (Sutton Coldfield), 5 Adam Lee (Old Saltleians – captain), 6 Drew Harper (Bromsgrove), 7 Hugh Lockhart (Bromsgrove), 8 Steve Leach (Camp Hill).
Replacements. 16 Alex Willis (Birmingham & Solihull), 17 Ethan Priest (Bromsgrove), 18 Jake Goulson (Bridgnorth), 19 Josh Brown (Dudley Kingswinford), 20 Will Trumper (Worcester), 21 Ollie Neill (Bournville), 22 Tom Lee (Old Saltleians).