19 Man squad named for League 1 opener

Newcastle Thunder have named a 19 man squad for Sunday’s trip to Workington showing two changes in personnel as Mick Mantelli strives to make it back to back wins over the West Cumbrians and start the new league campaign with a bang.

The changes see Lewis Young and Corbyn Kilday replaced by Ali Blair and Zach Clarke, with the side for the game confirmed an hour before Sunday’s 3 pm kickoff.

Choosing to stick with the majority of the squad that took a hard fought 18-16 win over Dave Clarke’s side at Kingston Park last Saturday, Mantelli will be calling on his side to repeat the performance of that second half and the opening phases of the first, that saw them test their opponents.

Looking ahead to the game, Mantelli said: “Our expectations are to compete every week, which is why we weren’t happy with the first half last weekend.  We controlled it for the first ten minutes and then lost track a bit, we need to take away from that, look at it and make adjustments.

“Most of it is probably individual mental adjustments and with the squad with the squad we have, if they don’t make them quickly, then they might find themselves not in the following week.

“I’m expecting we [Thunder & Workington] know what each other are up to now, I’m sure they won’t be taking us lightly and we definitely won’t be falling into the trap of a false sense of security going over there.

“It looks like it is going to be a heavy pitch, so it’s going to be a bit of a slug-fest in the middles with all the big boys. Hopefully, we can bring a bit more finesse into our outside backs and score a few more points.”

Newcastle Thunder Squad

V Workington Town – Sunday 5th March KO 3 pm

Ali Blair, Peter Fox, Derrell Olpherts, Tyler Craig, Joe Brown, Benn Hardcastle, Danny Nicklas, Jack Aldous, Evan Simons, Brett Waller, Harry Aldous, Rhys Clarke, Liam McAvoy, Aaron Teroi, Vincent Rennie, Sam Luckley, Dan Parker, Matty Barron, Zach Clark.