Sunderland Rugby Club host Medicals in final home game of season at Ashbrooke

Sunderland's Matt Goforth is set to face Medicals.

Sunderland's Matt Goforth is set to face Medicals.

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SUNDERLAND play their final home game of the season when Medicals make the trip to Ashbrooke this weekend.

The sides played out a high-scoring, entertaining game earlier in the season, but have had differing fortunes since, with Medicals pushing for a top-four finish while Sunderland have lost 10 games in a row since the turn of the year.

Once again Sunderland are forced to make a number of changes, but name arguably the strongest side they have been able to field in recent weeks.

Coach Fraser Kennedy is keeping his fingers-crossed there is not a repeat of the rash of late cry-offs that have hampered selection in recent weeks.

In the forwards, Dave Robson returns to the side, with Ryan Buckley dropping to the bench.

Andy Wordsworth has recovered from a pulled hamstring and will line up in the second row in place of Peter Carter, who was forced off in the first half of the Stockton game with a back injury.

The back row line-up of Joe Arrowsmith, Adam Reay and Martin Watt is retained again.

In the backs, Mark Henry and Ian Dobson make up the half-back partnership, while Matt Goforth is available for the first time in a number of weeks and starts in the centres.

Sam Vaughan switches from 10 to the wing and Jamie Maclennan is available again following his concussion against Alnwick.

Tom Atkinson is back from university and lines up at full-back.

Sunderland at home to Medicals, 1.45pm meet: Robson, Harrison, Arrowsmith, Wordsworth, Belfield, Reay, Arrowsmith, Watt, Henry, Dobson, Maclennan, Townend, Goforth, Vaughan, Atkinson. Replacements: Buckley, Mackie, Arkley.

Sunderland III away to Barnard Castle, 1pm meet: Marshall, Wright, Deighton, Belfield, Jackson, Harrison, Marshall, Green, Richardson, Grainger, Gallimore, Graham, Duff, Robin, Swann, Hurst, Lamb, Cowan, Jones, Clinton, Young.