A's head to the oldest club in the world

Ampthill's Karim Lynch
Ampthill's Karim Lynch

Ampthill travel to the birthplace of community club rugby this weekend for their National One league fixture against Blackheath RFC, who were founded in 1858 and are the oldest ‘open’ rugby club in the world, open for any member of the public to join.

The A's go into the game second in the table having played two thirds of their 30-game season, as they are ahead of former Championship-sides Plymouth and Birmingham Moseley in the standings.

Director of rugby Mark Lavery said: "They’ve a fantastic set up down there. The facilities are excellent, the pitch is perfect, and they know how to beat Ampthill; neither our firsts or our seconds have ever beaten them and they’re rightly favourites to win on Saturday.

“That said, they’ve lost a couple on the bounce and we’re on a nice little run, we’re beginning to go okay."

There’s a few adjustments for Ampthill in front; Matt Beasley [loosehead] and Reece Marshall [hooker], both on loan from Northampton, start on the front row former Tongan international Aleki Lutui [tighthead].

Mike Howard, on loan from Bedford, joins Paino Hehea in the second row, with Joe Bercis [openside], Matt Burke [blindside] and Maama Molitika [8] completing the A’s pack.

With duel-registered Saints scrum half Alex Mitchell away on England U20 duty, Ben Calder steps in at 9, partnering Joe Tarrant [10] at half-back; Steff Jones [12] and Sam Hanks [13] are paired in the centre with Sam Baker [11], Jonny Morgan [14] and Karim Lynch [15] completing Ampthill’s starting XV.