It’s local derby day for Borough and the Lions

Robb Shingles scores a try for Oundle in their win over Stamford. Picture: Mick Sutterby
Robb Shingles scores a try for Oundle in their win over Stamford. Picture: Mick Sutterby
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Peterborough rugby fans are spoilt for choice this weekend as the English Clubs Championship resumes with two juicy local derbies in the city on Saturday.

At Bretton Park the Lions take on arch rivals Bedford Athletic in a National League Division Three clash while over at Fengate it’s Borough v Stamford in Midlands East Division Two (South). Both games kick off at 2.15pm.

After a slow start to the season, the Lions have run into a decent spell of form and go into Saturday’s big East Midlands battle on the back of two fine wins - 17-13 against Sheffield and 22-6 at Syston.

Bedford Athletic also won last time out - 34-12 against Old Halesonians - but sit two places below Lions in the relegation zone.

Both sides are desperate for points and the Lions are likely to unveil a new signing in the formidable shape of ex-Tongan international Peni Faingaa.

He’s a 6ft 8in giant of a second row in his early 30s who arrived at the club two weeks ago. He played several times for Tonga ‘A’ and the national sevens team but made only one full international appearance - against Samoa.

“He’s been training and has been in the gym with Foxy (head coach Darren Fox) and he looks okay,” said Lions chairman Andy Moore.

“But I’m not going to sing the signing from the rooftops until we’ve seen him in action. He’ll probably be on the bench on Saturday. We’ll edge him in slowly.”

A large turnout is expected at Fengate for their clash with Stamford.

The club are holding their annual Ladies Charity Lunch in aid of Breast Cancer Awareness before the match and it is bound to create a lively atmosphere on the touchline.

Traditionally this fixture used to be the highlight of the season for both clubs before league rugby came into force. Saturday’s game will be the first ever league encounter between the sides.

Borough vice-chairman Archie Bennett insisted it was just another hard fixture in their quest to remain in top spot.

He said: “Once the players are on the pitch it is of no consequence to them where the opposition come from. Every week we have the same goal, which is to play well, improve and enjoy our rugby.

“Obviously a win would be most welcome as well, but we are fully aware our opposition will pose a big threat so we need to be on top of our game.”

Stamford’s last league game was also a local derby. They lost 39-32 at home to Oundle.