I trust you are all well and after a weekend without live rugby, partly compensated by some international fare on the big screen, judging by the noise from an impressive turnout of spectators at the Club last Saturday, we return to action at the Memorial Ground.
We welcome for the first time in First Team League Rugby our friends from Anselmians. I say First Team league rugby because we have over many years met teams from Anselmians in the NOWIRUL leagues and before that on a friendly basis under the old rules, when they were "Old" and we were just Waterloo.
I can just about recall my first encounter off the A41, the then Colts were short of numbers and as a very young colt I was asked to fill in with the older players. I recall a little of the game, but remember a team that included Pugh, Pugh, McManus, Bold, Bartlett, Duckett and Flett. While I learned much about rugby and commitment from that group, I also now recognise that at some stage an animations producer might have seen that a similar grouping of names could prove a handy way to list firemen.
The advances of our opponents over the last few years have been impressive. Their plans for development will be envied by many and they have attracted some very good players to the Club. A good result on Saturday is important for both Clubs, but hopefully any reverse will not harm the positive development taking place in both teams.
Despite the threat again of some wild and windy weather it would be appreciated if you could brave the elements and tear yourself away from the fire to support the players. If you wish to watch "television" rugby then there is opportunity on Sunday at the Clubhouse, but where else would you want to be on a wet windy February afternoon than on "Boozers Bank"??
On a slightly sombre note the upstairs room will be filled by a number of ex- Merchant Taylors pupils, co-ordinated by Luke Blease, who are celebrating and commemorating the life of an old school friend who passed away recently at a very young age, something that puts our battles on a Saturday afternoon in context but makes you all the more keen to enjoy them.
Elsewhere, with both Women's teams taking a break due to fixture scheduling during the Six Nations, the Men's Seconds travel to Blackburn to renew what has proved a close rivalry this season. The Thirds are seeking to arrest any progress by Merseyside Police and make some of their own at what I am sure will be a classic encounter of wind versus slope.
Sunday sees the Colts taking on Wirral at Wirral at 12.30, hoping to continue a promising string of results. The Minis and Juniors appear mainly to be enjoying a training weekend, although the Under 13's and 15's, I think, have Lancashire Cup games at Southport and Warrington and I wish them luck with those games.
I would like to mention that there is another race night at the Club next Friday, 15th February, doors opening, or should that be starting gates, opening from about 7.00. It is a great event in prospect to follow what will no doubt have been a suitably romantic occasion the night before. The race night is organised with the help of Jeanette Colebourne and is looking to raise funds for MacMillan Cancer Support. So if you are short of racing excitement given the current suspension of racing or just enjoy helping those who help others then come and support the cause and, hopefully, enjoy an evening at the Club. It would be great to see you there.
Here's hoping you have a good weekend and the results go our way.