PAUL Malcolm has won an instant recall to the Durham team for Sunday’s County Championship showdown with Kent at Twickenham.
The Horden forward missed the Second Division win over East Midlands on Saturday when Durham clinched the north section of the Billy Beaumont Cup and the prize of a trip to the home of rugby.
Malcolm was ruled out at the 11th hour because of work commitments, but the Durham selectors have opted to bring back the athletic lock, who had an excellent debut in the win at Eastern Counties in the opening tie.
He will pack down with skipper Chris Wearmouth in a good second row combination.
But Malcolm’s joy spelt heartache for Anth Rumis.
The Billingham lock performed well as Malcolm’s understudy but now finds himself out of the squad completely, not even getting a spot on the bench.
It was one of the tough decisions which the Durham selectors had to weigh up when they put the side together.
In fact, county bosses went back to their original choices.
That meant Billingham pair Peter Evans and Danny Finney both came back into the starting XV.
Evans will line-up at full-back with last week’s number 15, Elliott Husband, switching to the wing in place of Shaun McCartney, who was injured playing sevens last Sunday.
Finney reclaims the number nine jersey from Henry Johnson, who can count himself very unlucky.
The Durham University student not only played well on his debut on Saturday, he kicked four goals at Blackwell Meadows.
Like Rumis, the scrum-half does not even have the consolation of a seat on the bench.
Durham’s only other change was enforced following a knee injury to Gavin Painter, Blaydon’s Tom Bramwell coming in.
Darlington Mowden Park’s former West Hartlepool centre was the only Poolie in the Durham squad.
West though are represented in the 22 by Owen Bennett.
The lock, who signed from Horden last summer, has had an outstanding first season at Brinkburn, where he finished the campaign as skipper.
Joining him on the bench is Dan Burns who, like Evans and Finney, missed the weekend win over East Midlands because he was on Billingham’s tour to Berlin.
The forward is one of four Billingham players in Martin Pepper and Chris Hyndman’s squad.
Durham: P Evans, E Husband (Billingham), C Mitchell (Darlington MP), T Bramwell (Blaydon), I Wilson, T Hodgson (Darlington MP), D Finney (Billingham), R Appleby (Darlington MP), R Thirkell (Horden), T Davidson, C Wearmouth (Blaydon), P Malcolm (Horden), O Hodgson, C McKenzie (Darlington MP), S Powell (Westoe). Subs: R Morris (Blaydon), J Forrester (Durham Univ), O Bennett (West Hpool), J Knox (Darlington MP), D Burns (Billingham), C Dodd, C Dominick (Darlington MP)