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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Penrith's first league game against ambitious Percy Park

Penrith can look forward to taking on a former England international when they start the season on September 1.

Nigel Beaty photo
Nigel Beaty

Michael Stephenson has been appointed player coach at ambitious Percy Park, who will provide the opposition at Winters Park in the first National Three North fixture.

Stephenson was capped twice in 2001 and 2004 when he was with Newcastle Falcons, his home-town club and after spells with Bath and Leeds Carnegie (last season) he’s back in his native north east.

Percy Park were promoted from North One East last season while Penrith just survived on the final day in National Three North.

New director of rugby Nigel Beaty said: “It’s going to be an interesting first game because Percy Park are an ambitious club, as the appointment of Stephenson underlines.

“They have made one or two new signings as well and will be determined to make sure they stay-up in their first season.

“Our players are looking forward to the opportunity of taking on an England international.”

Penrith will go into the Percy Park game on the back of only one warm-up friendly, at Otley on August 11.

“We thought we’d just have the one game but make it a tough one to test people,” said Beaty, who has been delighted at training turn-outs which have topped 80.

“There’s a new coaching team in place at Penrith and that’s been working well. We’ve also had special boot camps to work on the fitness of the squad.

“Yo-yo tests have replaced the old bleep tests and one of our youngsters, winger Jon Fell, was the champion at those,” added Beaty.

Meanwhile, Aspatria rugby club’s annual golf day goes from strength to strength and the latest event raised £1,500 for the charity CDH UK.

CDH UK was this year’s chosen charity in recognition of the help they have given to club stalwart Mike Tinnion, his wife Sophie and baby Olly.

Mike has a lifelong association with the Aspatria club and perhaps it was no surprise as to how so many friends of the family rallied round to raise £1,500.

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