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Saturday, 23 August 2014

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Penrith RU appoint Steven Wood as captain

Penrith's preparations for the coming season are moving apace with the appointment of a new captain.

Steven Wood photo
Steven Wood

Mike Raine is standing down after two seasons in the role when he manfully led the side from the front.

Steven Wood has been appointed to succeed him after six seasons with the club. His record is phenomenal in those six seasons having played 146 games and scored 1,397 points from 53 tries, 324 conversions, 159 penalties and 4 drop goals.

In that time he has become the team’s talisman and on his day can be a genius regularly producing rabbits out of a hat at will.

There is no one in the league better than him with the ball in his hands on a windy day and he too like Raine will lead from the front, as there isn’t a harder man on the team.

Although not a Penrith lad he is committed to the cause and rarely misses a game or a training session travelling from the west coast. He’s also played many a game lesser men would have ducked because of injury and put in decent performances.

Of his appointment Wood said: “ I’m very honoured and excited to take on the role as captain. Hopefully we as a club can unleash our potential and become the premier club in the county.”

He already has the ear of the team as Ryan Johnson, appointed as vice captain, said when he reacted to his appointment.

Johnson said he was “looking forward to working with him as he is a game changing player who people listen and look up to”.

He also believes the club’s new coaching structure and pre-season plans will put the club in with a great chance of being a dominant force in the league.

Johnson, 23, first played senior team rugby in season 2005/6 when he was 17 and has slowly become an integral part of the side. His physical presence and aggression are legendary and when “Bungle” gets his dander up the opposition better look out.

He may be a little young for the role but it is a reward for his commitment and loyalty and definitely a forward looking decision.

n Wigton and Aspatria, relegated together from North One West last season, will meet in a tasty start to the 2012-13 campaign on September 1.

The two clash in the new surroundings of North Lancs Cumbria, lining-up at Lowmoor Road for the first derby of the season.

But the fixtures have been constructed in such a way that the reverse games aren’t played until the final day of the season on April 20.

Aspatria are also away in their second game, at Didsbury Toc H and don’t play at home until September 22 when they host Workington.

Six teams from Lancashire join the eight Cumbrian teams in the formation of the league, and there are trips out of the county on the opening day for five of our sides.

Workington go to Aldwinians; newly promoted Whitehaven are at Blackburn; Cumbria League champions Keswick visit Heaton Moor; St. Benedict’s are on the road to Eccles and Egremont are the first visitors for newly promoted Littleborough, which is near Rochdale.

Apart from the derby game between Wigton and Aspatria, the only game in the league being played in the county is Upper Eden v Didsbury Toc H.

Keswick and Whitehaven moved up from the Cumbria League, which is expected to be split into a re-organised competition, although no fixtures have been released yet.

With Wigton and Aspatria being relegated from North One West, it leaves only Carlisle and newly promoted Kirkby Lonsdale to fly the Cumbrian flag.

Carlisle start the new season with a trip to Rochdale while Kirkby Lonsdale will host Wirral.

Penrith will have Cumbrian company after surviving in National Three North last season as Kendal were relegated from National Two.The pair will meet on September 29 at Winters Park with the return at Mint Bridge on January 19.

Penrith will open the National Three North campaign on September 1 at home to Percy Park while Kendal are at Mint Bridge against Burnage.

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The biggest scotch egg in the world - can Cumbria crack the record?

Yes. There's nothing we don't know about food - or portion control.

Hope so - another feather in our cap.

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