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Your News County Championship news from the North

DEFENDING Bill Beaumont Cup holders Lancashire will draw heavily on the services of the former England captain's club Fylde for their opening County Championship match against Cheshire at The Woodlands tomorrow (May 8).

Fylde will not only supply the venue, lead coach Mark Nelson and captain Jonny Roddam, but also nine members of the squad, among them No 8 Sam Beaumont, son of the man whose name appears on the trophy won last season when the Red Rose team beat Gloucestershire in the final at Twickenham.

Another Fylde man in the starting line-up is former England Counties XV wingman Nick Royle, who has been putting his exceptional pace to good use in recent months with the England Sevens team.

Cheshire's concerns about having three of their senior teams still on league duty have been partially eased by the appearance of Caldy pair Derek Salisbury and John Sewell in their pack, while the inclusion of a Sale Jets contingent, including scrum-half Will Cliff, is another welcome boost.

Yorkshire have players from the Championship in the line-up for the trip to Tynedale, where they face Northumberland. Rotherham Titans quartet of Jonny Feeley, Jonny West, Matt Challinor and John Skurr are all in the starting line-up which is captained by another former Clifton Lane regular, lock Dan Cook.

England Counties XV backs Steve Parsons and Kyle Dench head a quintet of Harrogate players in the squad, while replacement Dan Hyde is another player of recent Counties XV vintage.

Northumberland rely heavily on Tynedale, who supply 14 of the starting line-up, prop Matt Shields from Westoe being the only 'foreigner' on duty.

Durham City provide eight of the Durham side that opens its programme with a game against North Midlands at Stourbridge.

Lancashire (v Cheshire at Fylde, Saturday, May 8, 3pm): James O'Brien (Waterloo); Nick Royle (Fylde), Tom Brady (Sale Jets), Alex Hurst (Fylde), Mark Turner (Liverpool St Helens); Steve Collins (Rochdale), Ryan de la Harpe (Fylde); Mark Devine (Liverpool St Helens), Jonny Roddam (Fylde) capt, Adam Lewis (Fylde), Gareth Rawlings (Longton), Alastair Atkinson (Fylde), Charlie Baleirara (Sale Jets), Steve McGinnis (Fylde), Sam Beaumont (Fylde).

Replacements: Peter Ince (Caldy), Jan Lourens (Liverpool St Helens), Carl Nolan (Waterloo), Luke Raselala (Bowdon), Ronan O'Brien (Broughton Park), Mike Waywell (Fylde), Steve Briers (West Park).

Cheshire: Steve Campbell (Northwich); Ed Stobart (Sale Jets), Mark Atkinson (Sale Jets), Tom Davenport (Macclesfield), Dave Williamson (Lymm); Dodo Muntean (Northwich), Will Cliff (Sale Jets); A N Other, Adam Bray (Nuneaton), Derek Salisbury (Caldy), Richard Smith (Northwich), Mike Clifford (Wilmslow), Nick Pearson (Sheffield Tigers), John Sewell (Caldy), Olly Hewitt (Burnage).

Replacements: Sean Green (Chester), Charlie Mulchrone (Wilmslow), Scott Goodfellow (Macclesfield), Tim Oakes (Lymm), Matt Ibbottson (Birkenhead Park), Tom Taylor (Sale Jets).

Yorkshire (v Northumberland at Tynedale, Saturday, May 8, 3pm): Jon Feeley (Rotherham Titans); Steve Parsons (Harrogate), Jamie Broadley (Harrogate), Kyle Dench (Harrogate), James Tincknell (Wharfedale); James Murray (Otley), Jonny West (Rotherham Titans); Ryan Wederell (Bradford & Bingley), George Warner (Otley), Krys Fullman (Hull), Matt Challinor (Rotherham Titans), Dan Cook (Hull) capt, Rob Devonshire (Hull), Richard Beck (Otley), Jon Skurr (Rotherham Titans).

Replacements: Dan Hyde (Huddersfield), Max Lewis (Harrogate), Gareth Denman (Otley), Andrew Gravil (Hull), Aarin Yorke (Harrogate), Chris Johnson (Huddersfield), James Greene (Hull Ionians).

Northumberland (v Yorkshire at Tynedale, Saturday, May 8, 3pm); Sep Visser; Peter Cole, Jack Harrison, Hamish Smales, Charlie Ingall; Andrew Hall, Dominic Shaw; John Williams, Joe Graham (all Tynedale), Matt Shields (Westoe), Ben Marshall, Andrew Murray, Grant Rastall, Greg Irvin, Jamie Murray capt (all Tynedale).

Replacements: Douglas Jepp (Tynedale), Peter Southern (Melrose), Mungo Strachan (Biggar), Ben Frankland, Graeme Dunn, Harry Peck (all Tynedale), Dan Rayson (Westoe).

Durham (v North Midlands at Stourbridge, Saturday, May 8, 3pm); Dan Kyle (Durham City); Peter Evans (Billingham), Andrew J Smith (Durham City), Joe Evans (Billingham), Tom Shiel (Durham University); Dudley Cortland (Durham City), Andrew Foreman (Hartlepool Rovers); Richard Campbell (Barnes), Andrew Dixon (West Hartlepool) capt, Dan Dixon (Billingham), Mark Power (Hartlepool Rovers), Kevin Showler (Tynedale), Joe Thomas (Durham University), Ryan Dawson (Durham City), Phil Eggleshaw (Nottingham).

Replacements: Mark Cammiss (Durham City), Richy Thirkell (Horden), Peter Dent (Durham City), Glynn Edwards (Durham City), Lewis Groves (Durham City), James McCann (Durham University), David Haigh (Durham University).

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