Wounded Sunderland rugby club up against Medicals

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A glut of unavailable players means Sunderland’s already depleted squad is stretched to the limit this week in a must win game against Medicals.

With some players yet to prove their fitness, a squad of 19 is named to cover all eventualities, with the starting line-up to be decided on the day.

Richard Arrowsmith and Alan Ross are unavailable, so the front row has a new look to it with Andy Turnbull likely to make his debut at some stage with Ryan Buckley and Chris Geehan the other contenders to start alongside Pete Harrison.

The rest of the pack has a familiar look about it, with Andy Black available and Martin Watt once again captaining the side.

Tom Townend is unavailable and Ian Dobson is a doubt with injury, so Sunderland are thankful that Tom Atkinson returns and Dan Abraham and Greg Littlewood are available again to strengthen the backline.

With a number of players missing and call ups to the first team, Sunderland seconds and thirds have combined forces this week, to ensure they get a side out.

Youngster Guy Kingsley Smith is given the chance to shine from the start and will be looking to add to the string of fine performances he has put in since his debut in the senior ranks.

Sunderland at home to Medicals 1.30pm meet: Team from: Abraham, Black, Belfield, Buckley, Dobson, Francis, Harrison, Geehan, Elstob, Bains, Turnbull, Walton, Watt, Wordsworth, Mackie, Matthews, Lewandowski, Atkinson.

Sunderland Seconds playing away to Middlesbrough Thirds 12.00 meet: Team from: Summers, Bengochea, Marshall, Carter, Belfield, Edmundson, Jackson, Fish, Reah, Kingsley Smith, Hinder, Heffernan, Jermy, Hands, Swann reps: Deighton, Wright, Collins, Gaul, Gallimore, Haley, Grainger, Logan, Tosi, Meechan, Groark.