Worcestershire & Herefordshire will be missing lock Ed Parry, fly-half Oli Rayner and number eight Max Macfarlane for the Iskitz Three Counties Championship final against Shropshire at Newport on Saturday May 14 (3pm).
All three played prominent roles in the 57-10 win over Shropshire in a group match at Kidderminster two weeks ago, performances which helped secure them selection by North Midlands for last Saturday’s County Championship defeat by Kent at Canterbury.
All three have been retained by North Midlands for this Saturday’s match against Devon at Dudley Kingswinford so W&H have been forced to reshuffle for the Three Counties final.
Mike Diston of Evesham has been called up to replace Rayner with Russ Brown of Droitwich and Guy Field of Old Halesonians forming a new second row pairing. Rich Preece of Hereford switches from lock to the back row to replace Macfarlane with James Martin of Old Halesonians taking over as captain from Parry who skippered North Midlands last week.
Worcestershire & Herefordshire will be attempting to avenge a defeat by Shropshire in last season’s final at Old Halesonians and to deny Shropshire a fourth successive title.
The Iskitz Three Counties Championship is contested annually by the three Domestic Unions that comprise the North Midlands RFU – Greater Birmingham are the third – and offers players from outside the National Leagues to play a high standard of representative rugby.
Worcestershire & Herefordshire:
15 Andy Holloway (Old Halesonians); 14 Joe Oxford (Old Halesonians), 13 Sam Wilson (Stourbridge Lions), 12 Olly Meadows (Worcester Wanderers), 11 Mike Dodge (Worcester Wanderers); 10 Mike Diston (Evesham), 9 Stuart Doust (Bredon Star); 1 Stuart Bratt (Dudley Kingswinford), 2 James Roberts (Evesham), 3 Craig Freeman (Malvern), 4 Russ Brown (Droitwich), 5 Guy Field (Old Halesonians), 6 James Martin (Old Halesonians – captain), 7 Tom Dodge (Worcester Wanderers), 8 Rich Preece (Hereford). Replacements: Arran Hudson (Dudley Kingswinford), Tom Gazey (Evesham), George Morgan (Kidderminster Carolians), Sam Hopkins (Evesham), Chris Pinner (Kidderminster Carolians), Anton Taylor (Woodrush), Joe Cafeiro (Evesham).