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Rugby Union: Barking ready to come up against familiar faces at Old Cooperians in RFU Intermediate Cup

PUBLISHED: 08:00 17 November 2017

Action from Barking against Haywards Heath earlier in the season (pic: Tim Edwards)

Action from Barking against Haywards Heath earlier in the season (pic: Tim Edwards)

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Gale Street club visit London Two North East opposition this weekend

It looks set to be a case of friends reunited for Barking this weekend as they come up against a number of their former players when they visit Old Cooperians in the second round of the RFU Intermediate Cup.

A number of ex-Barking players now turn out for Coops, including the current head coach of the St Mary’s Lane club, Craig Ratford.

Samuel John returned to Barking in the summer after a stint playing for Coops, while his brother Nathaniel still turns for the Havering-based outfit, however both are unavailable for selection this weekend.

The lack of a sibling rivalry should not detract from the cup tie, though, and Barking forwards coach Andrew Moreland is looking forward to a good game of rugby.

“It’s a good chance for us to get some minutes under our belts and also to get the fitness of some players up,” said Moreland.

“We’ll use the cup as a chance to gain some experience in implementing the gameplan we want and it can help some of the players get used to it.

“We know a few of their players as they used to play for Barking, so it should be an interesting game.”

Barking are confident they will be able to name a team for that tie, having had to award Old Alleynians a walkover in their scheduled London Two South East clash last weekend.

Injuries have hit the Gale Street club hard this season, with a spate of injuries to players in the front row forcing Barking to concede the match against Alleynians.

And Moreland admits it was a decision the club did not take lightly, adding: “We had the physio in on Thursday and they said we had too many injuries in the front row.

“It’s a shame we had to forfeit, but we’ve brought a couple of new players in, including one in the front row, so we’re looking forward to seeing what they could do.”

Last Sunday, Barking hosted the third Test between the England deaf team and New Zealand, which the hosts won 31-18, and Moreland hopes the club can put on more events in the future.

“It was a great day for the club and it was great to have one of our members (Jack Kendall) playing too,” he said.

“We had between 500 and 600 people from all walks of life in attendance and it showed where we want to be, being a club that is part of the local community.”

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