WEST Hartlepool have turned to old stager David Tighe to dictate their play in their National Three North opener at Sandal.
Going into a testing league opener without your first-choice stand-off is difficult enough but starting without both leading two number 10s is a bitter blow.
Gareth Foreman, West’s man of the season in their promotion triumph, is unavailable, as is his gifted understudy, the versatile youngster Stuart Waites.
West have plumped for veteran scrum-half Tighe, who spent last season passing on his wealth of experience to the club’s gifted second XV, as playmaker.
Phil Wallis, who has played league rugby for West, was an option but Brinkburn bosses are happy to field the 36-year-old, who has played stand-off before, even though number nine is his best position.
Director of rugby Kevan Oliphant said: “Davy will do a good job for us.
“We knew we had this issue for the first league game at stand-off but Davy knows what he’s doing.
“He’ll organise the defence well and he’ll bring the backs into play.”
Dan Boatman will capatin the side at Milnthorpe Green.
SEE Friday’s Mail for full story