RUGBY: This weekend’s fixtures

Willis celebrates in OLs' win over Market Bosworth last week (picture Ray Todd)
Willis celebrates in OLs' win over Market Bosworth last week (picture Ray Todd)
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Vice Presidents’ day for Rugby Welsh, leaders visit Newbold, big away game for Old Laurentians

# On Saturday, Lions return to league action at home to Copsewood (ko 2.15pm). Lions won the away game 7-38 in November on a very heavy pitch. Copsewood have lost their last three games but only by a total of 7 points including very narrow defeats to the second and third placed sides.

# On Sunday, Rugby Lionesses play at home against Five Ways Old Edwardians Ladies (ko 2.15 pm). Rugby beat them 0-59 in November but they are clearly improving rapidly as in their last game Old Eds won 5-99 at Cheltenham Civil Service Ladies.

# On Saturday Rugby Welsh entertain Birmingam Exiles, also in Midlands 5 West (South) as part of their Vice Presidents Day celebrations.

# For Old Laurentians, the valuable points from last week’s win lifted OLs clear of their nearest rivals in the league table, now six points clear of Malvern and five ahead of Barkers Butts, but having played a game more than both.

So this Saturday’s visit to Barkers takes on massive significance in the battle to stay clear of the relegation zone. A bonus point win for OLs would leave Barkers trailing by ten points and a win for the Coventry side would put them in the strongest position. OLs go into the game with a marginally better recent record, having won five of their last six, their opponents chalking up three wins from five since the turn of the year. But all that will count for nought when the whistle blows at 3pm on Saturday!

# After their cup game last week, second place Newbold have another huge game against league leaders Leighton Buzzard at Parkfield Road, ko 3pm.

# Rugby St Andrews entertain runaway league leaders Biggleswade who have lost only once this season and are favourites for promotion. They were in a similar position when the teams last met at Rugby but were decidedly second best to an inspired Saints team who will be hoping to repeat that level of performance.