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Former England, British Lions and Leicester Tigers legend Rory Underwood is expected to attend the match between Stamford Rugby Club and Oakham



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Stamford will be aiming to end their recent hoodoo against near neighbours Oakham when the two rivals clash in a derby duel on Saturday.

The match at Empingham Road pits fifth-placed Stamford against second-from-bottom Oakham in the second meeting of the season between the two clubs.

Oakham ran out 22-15 winners in reverse fixture at the Showground in October and also did the double over Stamford last season in a promotion-winning campaign for both clubs.

Oakham were 22-15 winners against Stamford in the first meeting of the season.
Oakham were 22-15 winners against Stamford in the first meeting of the season.

Although Stamford were crowned Midlands 3 East (South) champions during a Covid-hit campaign, Oakham recorded 19-12 and 8-30 victories over Saturday’s hosts.

And Stamford head coach Auz Schwartz feels that form and league standings count for nothing in the eagerly-anticipated derby showdowns.

He said: “Irrespective of league positions, Stamford and Oakham is always a hard, physical game of rugby.

“We look forward to welcoming them to Empingham Road in what we know will be a tough encounter.

“The build up to any local derby is always one we as players and coaches relish and this week is no exception.

“We have a large senior squad to pick from and some selection headaches as coaches, but what a great position to be in because it’s a day that all players will want to be involved in.

“With many players friends off the pitch, the bragging rights will not want to be lost.

“It’s a day where friendships are put aside for 80 minutes and repaired in the bar as the evening goes on.

“The buzz in the squad is superb and we look forward to 2.15pm on Saturday afternoon to get things underway.

“We hope that both sides can put a performance in that will keep the crowd shouting and the beers flowing.”

Stamford go into the match looking to bounce back from their second heaviest defeat of the season a fortnight ago when they lost 50-19 away at high-flying Northampton Old Scouts.

Oakham were 22-19 home winners over St Ives in their last outing as they returned to winning ways after a couple of big defeats at Leicester Forest and Olney.

Rory Underwood.
Rory Underwood.

Stamford chairman Mark Anderson added: “It’s another great opportunity for two local rivals to have a fantastic day out.

“Oakham will be looking to go four from four but our boys are really focused and know what they need to do to make it a great game and a win.

“There are so many friendships between the two teams and fans that it’s a bit like a reunion so we all look forward to welcoming them to Stamford.”

Former England, British Lions and Leicester Tigers legend Rory Underwood is expected to attend the match which kicks-off at 2.15pm.

Stamford’s veterans team are also in action on Saturday as they host their Ampthill counterparts with a 2pm kick-off.

The women's then take on Sutton Bonington on Sunday with a 1pm kick-off at Empingham Road.



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