Bumper afternoon of rugby in store

A BUMPER afternoon of rugby is in store for Ipswich supporters this weekend, as the 1st XV welcome Colchester to Humber Doucy Lane in London 3 North East.

A BUMPER afternoon of rugby is in store for Ipswich supporters this weekend, as the 1st XV welcome Colchester to Humber Doucy Lane in London 3 North East.

A huge crowd is expected tomorrow, as three Ipswich teams are in action, along with a Vice-Presidents' Lunch at the clubhouse. The afternoon's on-pitch action begins with Ipswich under-12's facing Westbourne High School in a 20:20 friendly. Kick-off for this match is 1.30pm.

At 2pm Ipswich Magpies take on the mighty Woodbridge Warriors in a hastily-arranged game following let downs for both sides. The Warriors were due to travel to Beccles, but the North Suffolk side were unable to commit to the fixture, and likewise, the Magpies fixture away to Newmarket was cancelled when a midweek call revealed that the Newmarket squad had gone on a skiing trip.

Warriors captain Ian Rafferty said: “This is normally a 2nd XV fixture for us, but we will use the game to keep the momentum going for next week's Plate semi-final at Southwold.

“Adrian Foulger will rest a number of players and has experimented with players in different positions as competition hots up for the trip to Southwold.”

Karl Harris is rested, which allows Adrian Illingworth to take his place in the front row. A new partnership of Cooke and Crowther is tried in the second row, while captain Jon Percival is moved to the blindside flank as an experiment with Brigginshaw at No. 8 and the more mobile Gray at openside.

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The half-backs remain the same with Dumbill once gain partnering Johnson but a new centre partnership of Rautenbach and Harper is tried. After being left out last week, Andy Nowosad is recalled to the wing and will no doubt have a point to prove to both his old team-mates and coach Foulger. At some stage Michael Bredenkamp will make his debut in the 1st XV, also having the chance to stake a claim for next week's semi-final.

The Magpies will welcome back Mark Broughton, who has been absent for eight weeks with a knee injury. He was given the all-clear by the club physio in the week. Sean Elbrow also makes a much-anticipated come back, after four weeks out of action, again with a knee injury. Tom Ayllot will move into the starting line-up.

At 2.30pm, the big game of the afternoon kicks off. With local rivals Ipswich and Colchester only two points apart in the league, both teams will be looking for the win.

Colchester have won their last two league games, including a 13-6 win over Westcliff, who were triumphant over Ipswich last weekend. Ipswich will however be looking to avenge an 8-7 loss to Colchester earlier in the season, and will be looking for a return to winning ways.

The home side's squad is virtually the same as last week - the only execeptions are that scrum-half Danny Jillions is unavailable and Ben Goodall, who was rested last week after a clash of heads the week before, has been cleared of concussion and is available to play.

Ipswich coach Andy Skipper said: “The whole squad was very disappointed after the loss last week to Westcliff, with all players knowing within themselves that it was a game that we should have won.

“We have done a lot of work this week indoors and out rediscovering our game plan, making the adjustments needed to be triumphant over Colchester in this weekend's derby.

“We are staying with predominately the same squad, with each player now however knowing that they need to turn around an upsetting display from last week. So far it all looks very good on the training paddock, with intensity at its highest, which sets up hopefully for a show of form.”

After all this local rugby action, the much-hyped opening Six Nations match between England and Scotland at Twickenham will be screened in the clubhouse.

Ipswich 1st XV (from): Aretaseta Toalima, Darrell Burchnall, Ben Louisson, Jezz Hannon, Alex Primmer, Cristoffel Blom. Geoff Searle, Luciano Silvero, Ben Goodall, Peter LeMarquand, Dan Newson, Fraser Pratt (capt), Jayden Scott, Mike Ward, Gavin Ball, James Blyth and Riki Sila.

Ipswich Magpies: Woodgate, Ayllot, Driver, Smith, Griffiths, Greenfield, Woods, Forrester, Hall, Pathe, Kirk, Frazer, Broughton, Elbrow and Searle. Replacements: Dunsdon, Burton, Pentlow, Garnham, Kersey, Wright and Manning.

Woodbridge Warriors: Illingworth, Andrews, Roberts, Cook, Crowther, Percival, Gray, Brigginshaw, Johnson, Dumbill, Manning, Rautenbach, Harper, Nowosad and Smith. Replacements: Harris, Sutor and Bredenkamp.

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