This weekend, Bolton welcome Leigh RUFC to Avenue Street.
Whilst the clubs have done battle many times over the years, it has been a number of years since the 1st XV's have met in a competitive fixture and therefore both teams will be keen to understand the other as swiftly as possible come kick off on Saturday.
The game, a local derby, will also see the victors take the Joey Barnes Memorial Cup. A trophy donated by Joey's Widow following his sad passing back in December 2016. Joey represented both of these teams during his playing career and now each fixture between the two clubs is played for this prized trophy. Bolton are the current holders having beaten the Leigh 2nd XV last season, can the 1st XV repeat their heroics and ensure the cup remains at Avenue Street.
Leigh have had a similar start to the Cherry and Whites this season, with 1 win and 1 draw to their names. Bolton come into the fixture on the back of a much-improved performance away at Rochdale, whilst Leigh will be hurting after a somewhat onesided scoreline at home to Altrincham Kersal.
Dave Crouch has announced his team for the weekend with very minimal changes to the side that claimed a try bonus point win in Rochdale. The starting pack remains the same, with Tom Crook, who impressed in his 1st XV debut keeping his place at Loosehead. Behind the scrum the half back pairing of Singleton and Mills will orchestrate a midfield of Alex Waddicar and Andy Wood, with Will Bate withdrawing through injury. Out wide we see Sam Smith, who suffered an ankle injury prior to the Rochdale fixture, come in for the missing Josh Holmes and Owen McKenna starts at full back with captain Rhys Pritchard moving to the wing.
On the bench, Chris Cockton and Ashley Cooper provide the forwards support and Danny Joseph able to cover a number of back line positions.