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Home > News > England Counties look to Northern strike pair
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Your News England Counties look to Northern strike pair

The England RU Counties XV will be hoping that two of the North’s most potent try scorers continue their prolific work this season when they take on the USA Eagles A team in New York on Friday, June 6, 2008.

Wingmen Andrew Fenby from Blaydon and Oliver Brennand from Fylde have both been in fine form for their clubs. Brennand finished the season with 22 tries and a tally of 42 in 47 games for the club, while Fenby’s tally includes 21 tries from 23 club games and 10 for Newcastle Falcons Academy in four games, which included a six-try effort against Rotherham.

For Fenby, who was a late addition to the team, the call-up came at a very busy time. He was working on the completion of an 8,000-word dissertation on private equity and a 5,000-word company evaluation while flying across the Atlantic and having submitted these important pieces of his final year’s work programme at Newcastle University, where he is working on a degree in accounting and finance, he can now relax a shade and refocus on his rugby.

“It’s been a very hectic spell for me and I have my finals when I get back, but for now there’s the chance to relax and concentrate on rugby,” said the 22-year-old Newcastle University Student: “I’ve really had to get my head down in the last week and put in over 12 hours a day, so now this is like a rugby holiday.

“But having said that, the rugby is quite challenging given the style we are trying to play. We’re getting the ball out wide and trying one or two things that are a bit outrageous and more extreme. Everyone has to run the right lines for the approach to come off, but it’s nice to play in a game where there are no boundaries and you can throw the ball about and really go for it.”

Fenby, who first distinguished himself as a schoolboy international squash player and was ranked Welsh No 2 at Under 19 level while studying at Rydal Penrhos School in North Wales, finished the season with 21 tries from 23 games with Blaydon.

He has also been part of the Kooga Wailers Sevens squad this season, playing at Kinsale and Amsterdam, and also competed in the Dubai International Sevens and has also trained recently with the England Sevens squad.

“I’m really enjoying it with the Counties,” he says: “It’s a good experience, nice hotel, well organised trip, good set of lads – it’s fine.”

With two deadly finishers, the Counties XV are clearly hoping that Gavin Beasley, the Tynedale, Newcastle Falcons and Northumberland fly-half can orchestrate a fluid and ambitious game, while the impact of Manchester’s Cheshire full-back Ben Coulbeck could also be very important.

Coulbeck is joined in the backs by club-mate and centre Scott Rawlings, the only starting back with previous Counties XV experience, while up front, Northern influence is sustained by Rotherham and Warwickshire prop Phil Boulton and Manchester and Cheshire lock Matt Owen.

England Counties XV (v USA A in New York, Friday, June 6): Ben Coulbeck (Cheshire & Manchester); Oliver Brennand (Lancashire & Fylde), Scott Rawlings (Staffordshire/Manchester), Oliver Winter (North Midlands/Moseley), Andrew Fenby (Blaydon/Northumberland); Gavin Beasley(Northumberland/Tynedale), Nathan Jones (Warwickshire/Coventry); Timothy Mathias (Devon/Plymouth), Liam Wordley (Staffordshire/Henley) capt, Philip Boulton (Warwickshire/Bedford Blues), Matthew Owen (Cheshire/Manchester), Stephen Pape (Somerset/Cornish All Blacks), James Kellard (Essex/Blackheath), Michael Denbee (Somerset/Plymouth Albion), Mark Evans (North Midlands/Moseley).

Replacements: Christopher Whitehead (Warwickshire/Coventry), Petrus du Plessis (Lancashire/Sedgley Park), Daniel Collier (Middlesex/London Welsh), Sebastian Moss (Lancashire/Manchester), James Doherty (Lancashire/Wharfedale), Richard Wainwright (Yorkshire/Manchester), Andre Wilson (Cheshire/Manchester).

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