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Barnstaple and Bideford to field strong sides in Boxing Day rugby derby

By NDJSport  |  Posted: December 24, 2012

EXPERIENCED: Phil Gordon is set to line up at prop for Barnstaple in the Boxing Day rugby derby against Bideford.

EXPERIENCED: Phil Gordon is set to line up at prop for Barnstaple in the Boxing Day rugby derby against Bideford.

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BARNSTAPLE and Bideford will field strong teams for the Boxing Day rugby derby – if it beats the weather.

Wednesday's match (2.30pm) has been switched from King George's Field in Bideford to Barnstaple's Pottington Road to give it a better chance of going ahead.

But the clubs will be hoping for a let-up in the rain on Christmas Day to improve the odds.

Bideford have named the same team that started their last match in Tribute Western Counties (west) – a 5-5 draw with Bude nine days ago.

In a first-choice pack, Barnstaple are expected to reunite experienced props Mark Berry and Phil Gordon in the front row alongside hooker Sam Roberts.

The starting back division is also likely to be at full strength apart from long-term injury victim Josh Squire.

Former Barum centres Simon Watkins and Danny Gross are returning for guest appearances from the bench.

Next door, at Mill Road, Barnstaple Town are facing a battle to get the pitch playable for their Toolstation Western League football derby against Ilfracombe Town (3pm).

Barnstaple said on their Twitter feed this morning: "Not looking good for Boxing Day!"

Bideford are due to play at Frome Town in Evo-Stik League Southern (3pm).

Witheridge's match at Cullompton Rangers and Holsworthy's home game against Callington Town in the Carlsberg South West Peninsula League have already been postponed.

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