RUGBY: Big cup weekend

Lions coach Ian Renard in Saturday's friendly
Lions coach Ian Renard in Saturday's friendly
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Cheer Newbold and Rugby Lions in home semi-finals

It’s the biggest weekend of the season for Rugby Lions and Newbold, seeking Midlands cup final places and igniting hopes of Twickenham.

On Saturday Lions host Cleethorpes at Webb Ellis Road in a Midlands semi-final of the RFU Junior Vase, kicking off at 2pm.

And at Parkfield Road, Newbold will welcome Leek for their Intermediate Cup semi-final, kick-off 2.15pm.

The victors on Saturday will secure a coveted place in their respective Midlands finals - just two wins away from the national finals atTwickenham.

Long Buckby or Cannock await Saturday’s winners in the Vase while Leighton Buzzard and Bridgnorth are the other Intermediate Cup semi-finalists.

Like all Lions’ previous Vase opponents, Cleethorpes play their league rugby one level above them and are currently mid-table in Midlands 4 East (North).

But Midlands 5 West (South) leaders Lions, are currently unbeaten on maximum points and in great form.

Newbold’s visitors Leek currently sit top of Midlands 2 West (North), having only lost once all season, with Newbold second in Midlands 2 East (South).

Newbold know it will be a tough game, but the way they have been playing over the last few weeks, suggests they are more than capable of securing their place in the Midlands final.

Both teams would welcome plenty of support from rugby fans in the town with two exciting games in prospect.

Picture by Ray Andrews