This week we welcome Barnsley to Ripon and they will be arriving in a confident mood after a 31 - 10 victory over Yarnbury.
Riponian's should feel a huge sense of pride at the way the City pulled together in a magnificent act of remembrance, in commemorating the end of the First World War. Ripon was a significant troop coordination centre and at one time 125,000 men were billeted under canvass within its parish. Sadly we all know the fate of many of those young men. We should remember with pride and be proud of our collective act of remembrance.
Back to rugby, it is the same pride that is called for on the pitch and let us make no mistake we are in a dog fight! As we lay second to bottom in the table, today is an ideal opportunity to demonstrate that fighting spirit that is within all of us. We have enjoyed some tough, but great encounters with Barnsley and today will be no different.
A plea from the coaching team is that all players please make every effort to be available, as the run up to the festive season will be crucial, and yes, shops are open on Sundays these days! With another 9 changes to the First XV we need to try and build more consistency.
If Ireland demonstrated they are true contenders for the World Cup last weekend, England showed that they are only pretenders. They were out-thought, out-played and out-fought by a Japanese side that silenced HQ for 40 minutes! We can but hope Owen Farrell remains fit or it might be a very short visit to the land of the rising sun!
I hope you all enjoy this afternoons game and thank you for your support.