Injuries force South Shields RFC into changes for Ashbrooke class

South Shields' Clayton Fox.

South Shields' Clayton Fox.

South Shields travel to Ashbrooke this weekend to face Sunderland in a Durham Northumberland Two division clash.

Fifth placed Sunderland have won seven of their 12 league games so far this season, including home victories over Sedgefield, Blyth and Ashington.

The home side do come off the back of a difficult trip to Whitby, where the Wearsiders lost 40-0 and they will be looking to bounce back with a bang tomorrow.

South Shields themselves, have won four of their 12 league games, with a recent run of good form that was seen them collect 19 points in their last six games, including bonus-point wins on the road at Seaton Carew and Darlington.

Shields will have to do without influential club captain Clayton Fox, who is set to miss the remainder of 2016 due to work commitments.

Also, the game may come to early for the return of Fox’s back-row partner Martin Bengston.

Carlos Mut Morei and Matthew Soroka are both still be missing, while Jordan Wright faces a late fitness test on an elbow injury.

Louis Kellett and Dan McKay are likely to play at second row.

Stu Robson will also be hoping that Mark Walker will have recovered in time from a minor rib injury.

Last week’s star-man Gary Bates is in line to face his home town club, while James Pocklington and Alex Welland will both start.

Jonah McIntyre returns from illness that had ruled him out of last week’s win against Sedgefield.

Ian Arkley is the third Shields player to be ruled out this season after sustaining a rib injury.

A win for South Shields could see them closing the gap on Winlaton Vulcans, who are just one place above, but five points ahead.

The game is set for a 2.15pm kick off at Sunderland’s Ashbrooke Sports Ground (SR2 7HH).