Borough and the Lions both start the new year brimming with confidence

New Borough skipper John Thompson.

New Borough skipper John Thompson.

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Both city teams will be hoping to start the new year as they left the old one when the English Clubs Championship programme resumes at the weekend.

On the Saturday before Christmas both the Lions and Borough were forced to field patched-up teams due to a glut of injuries and unavailabilities yet both enjoyed impressive victories.

The Lions made it five wins from six National League Division Three games when taking the honours 31-12 at Newport while Borough roared to their biggest win of the season when thrashing Biggleswade at Fengate 67-8 in Midlands Division Two East (South).

The Lions are at home this weekend and welcome Nuneaton to Bretton Park (2.15pm kick-off) with revenge uppermost on their minds. Nuneaton won 23-12 when the two sides clashed in the Midlands in September.

Chairman Andy Moore remains convinced his side will be challenging for a promotion play-off place at the end of the season.

“If we can reproduce the sort of form we had just before Christmas then, with the exception of perhaps Hinckley, I can’t see us losing another game,” he said.

“We had our problems early on in the season with injuries but that’s all behind us now and I reckon we’ve turned the corner.

“We’ve brought youngsters in and they’re improving with every game.

“It’s onwards and upwards from here on in.”

Fly-half Will Carrington (concussion) and full-back De La Rey Veenendaal (groin) missed the win at Newport but both are expected to return to the side on Saturday.

Former Borough skipper Sam Crooks has, as expected, signed for the Lions and should be included in the squad as well.

Borough meanwhile have appointed John Thompson as their new first team captain in succession to Crooks.

His first game in charge will be the tough away trip to third-placed Lutterworth on Saturday.

And Borough will go into the game with confidence sky-high after the big Biggleswade bashing.

Vice-chairman Archie Bennett said: “We are extremely pleased to have ‘JT’ in place as captain.

“He has been at Borough for many years and was our player of the year last season.

“He shows the level of leadership and commitment we are looking for at Fengate .

“We go to Lutterworth in good shape, looking for a win.”

Coaches Lee Adamson and Kev Roe have plenty of thinking to do before finalising their squad for Saturday’s trip with many players carrying knocks before Christmas now available to play.

Strong-running winger Stefan Gallucci will be included in the squad after rejoining Borough from St Neots over Christmas.

With more than 50 senior players wanting to play rugby for Borough on Saturday it looks like a third team will take to the field once again.