Sunderland Rugby Union team look to bounce back in Wallsend match

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SUNDERLAND are looking to bounce back from their humiliation at the hands of Alnwick last week as they travel to league strugglers Wallsend.

After a good start to the year, Sunderland have lost four games on the bounce, albeit to teams at the top end of the league.

But Wallsend could provide Sunderland with an opportunity to make amends for their defeat against Alnwick, though they will need to be on top of their game against a Wallsend side who lost to Alnwick a fortnight ago by only a single point.

Sunderland bring in some much-needed reinforcements to their back line, with Elliot Lewandowski, Mick Walton and Tom Townend all available after missing last week. Tom Atkinson is also home from university so will slot in at full back.

Ian Dobson and Greg Littlewood are still missing through injury and Dan Abraham, one of the few players to come out of the Alnwick game with any credit, is unavailable.

In the forwards, Andy Black comes into the back row, with Andy Wordsworth switching to his more familiar position in the second row.

Craig Elstob drops to the bench, with the remainder of the pack remaining unchanged.

The seconds are, as yet, without a fixture, but will be boosted by the return of a number of players who were on first team duty last week, with Pete Carter, Michael Heffernan, Michael Brace and Paul Hands all dropping down.

A youthful looking side includes four colts, with Guy Kingsley Smith looking to add to the two tries he scored on his senior debut last week and the free-scoring Danny Hinder stepping up from the thirds. Terry Haley and Cameron Meechan make up the quartet of colts.

A rather more experienced Sunderland thirds entertain Bishop Auckland.

Sunderland away to Wallsend; 12.30pm meet: Arrowsmith; Harrison; Buckley; Belfield; Wordsworth; Mackie; Black; Watt; Matthews; Bains; Walton; Francis; Townend; Lewandowski; Atkinson. Reps: Ross; Elstob; Brace.

Sunderland II; game tbc; 1.30pm meet: Team from: Summers; Turnbull; Begochea; Geehan; Fish; Carter; Wilson; Gaul; Finley; Haley; Kingsly Smith; Bain; Heffernan; Jermy; Hands; Hinder; Meechan; Swann.

Sunderland III at home to Bishop Auckland; 2pm meet: Marshall; Wright; Deighton; Belfield; Collins; Jackson; Harrison; Lloyd; Richardson; Grainger; Wallace; Simpson; Logan; Tosu; Ditchburn. Reps: Groark; Edmundson; Gallimore; Graham.