All Golds set for Salford City Reds clash

The University of Gloucestershire All Golds face Super League opposition for the first time ever in the 13 a side code this Sunday, against Salford City Reds.

 

The fixture is in the fourth round of the Tetley’s Challenge Cup, and also marks the first time the All Golds have progressed to the fourth round of the tournament. It promises to be a sell-out crowd at the Prince of Wales Stadium, Cheltenham. Kick-off is at 3pm.

Looking towards the match, University of Gloucestershire All Golds chairman Lionel Hurst said: “Playing Salford is really fairy tale stuff. The club is overjoyed with the draw, and it’s testament to the incredible hard work that everyone at the team has put in over the past few years.”

Head coach Brad Hepi added: “It’s a wonderful opportunity to play Salford, and a great way for the lads to kick start their season again. There’s no pressure of trying to get Championship points, so I want them all firstly to enjoy the experience, and get some confidence back.

“If they put up a good performance for themselves, the club and the supporters, then I’m sure they’ll do everyone proud.”

The All Golds progressed to the fourth round after victory over Skirlaugh, with a hard fought 26-16 win. However, both sides have been struggling to find form so far this season. The All Golds have lost both of their opening Championship One games, whilst Salford currently sit bottom of the Super League.

However, despite a difficult season so far for the Reds in which they were saved from administration, this week they announced that legendary Brian Noble would be taking over as head coach. With new owner Dr Marwan Koukash also at the helm, it promises an extremely exciting future for the club.

Salford has an illustrious history within rugby league, and has featured in the top tier of the sport in 15 of the past 17 years. The match will also see Salford favourite and forward Jordan James face the side which his younger brothers play for. Jamie and Joel play for the University of Gloucestershire All Golds under 16s, and under 20s respectively.

There is plenty of history behind the fixture too, as this tie will not be the first time the two sides have met. In 1907, New Zealand, then known as the All Golds visited Salford on the 28th of December, losing 9 points to 2 in front of a reported 9,000 spectators.

Salford legend Lance Todd also played in Cheltenham for the All Golds side in one of Rugby League's first ever international fixtures. The match was played on February 15th 1908, when the All Golds defeated Great Britain by 8 points to 5, thus winning the sports inaugural international test series.

Todd went down in the Original Red Devils history books, after leading the side to various trophies as head coach, including the Challenge Cup. Due to his work with rugby league, the man of the match award given in the Challenge Cup final is called the Lance Todd Trophy.

Regarding team news for the University of Gloucestershire All Golds, there are no new injury worries for the side. Long term injury Maxime Claustres is close to a recall, after resuming training with the squad this week. Former New Zealand Maori international Hepi said: “Selection for the squad against Salford is going to be extremely difficult. A lot of the team performed poorly last Sunday against Oldham, yet everyone wants to be feature in this weekend’s game.”

For tickets and information regarding all of the All Golds upcoming games, visit www.allgoldsrugby.com.  Adults cost £15 and concessions £10 for the Salford match. Tickets for children under 16 are £5.

The University of Gloucestershire All Golds side will be selected from the following:

Conrad Jones, Connor Jones, Dale Cooper, James Gahan, James Walter, Joe McClean, Joel James, Jordan Rice, Josh Williams, Marcus Brooker, Marcus Brown, Matthew Bradley, Michael Venn, Michael Norman, Michael Stewart, Ollie Yeats, Patrick Evans, Richard Jones, Rory Sharratt, Sam Blaney, Tawanda Chipadza, Timothy Bergin, Tyla Hepi, Yannic Parker, Callum Mulkeen, Phil Cowburn, Brendan Smith, Greg Moore