Returning players give South Shields a timely boost

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South Shields host Bishop Auckland tomorrow (South Tyneside College 3pm) looking to build on last week’s losing bonus point.

Shields came close to winning last week at North Shields and they will be hoping for more of the same passion and determination this weekend.

The club welcome back a host of key players including captain Clayton Fox, Matty Chaganis and Oli Tucker, while Matty Stephenson and Daniel Whitelaw face late fitness tests.

Clayton Fox is likely to slip straight back into the starting XV with Alex Welland moving into the centre to partner the returning Daniel Whitelaw, who is back after suspension.

With the return of Chaganis and Tucker, pressure is now on Matty Thornton to keep his place in the starting XV.

The return of Liam Newall is also a boost after he withdrew after the warm up before last weekend’s game.

Stu Robson, head coach of South Shields said: “When we get it right, like large parts of last week’s game, we showed how good we can be.

“But when we don’t make the right decisions, we find ourselves in trouble at this level.

“To get back into the game was a huge credit to the players.

“But we were disappointed with some of the errors we made in the first 40 minutes and we know we have to be better than that.”

“We’ve got some more bodies back this week and it is important to have that strength in depth throughout your match day squad.

“Everyone who came off the bench last week made an impact and I am looking for the same again tomorrow.”

South Shields 2nd XV are also in action as they travel to face Whitley Bay Rockcliff Vikings.

South Shields 3rd XV, known as the Spartans, are also playing for the first time in over a year as Wallsend Warriors visit Brinkburn. Both games kick-off at 3pm.