Rugby and hockey players poised for vital clashes as Wisbech clubs eye cup glory

WISBECH Rugby Club’s players will drive past Twickenham on Saturday knowing that they are four wins away from playing there.

The Harecroft Road outfit travel to London Exiles in the quarter-final of the Junior Vase and coach Ben McCall is hoping that a sight of the home of English rugby will inspire his troops.

McCall said: “We’ll drive by Twickenham on Saturday on the way to the game and I’ll simply say; ‘we could be playing here in a couple of months’. What more inspiration do you need than that?

“Whether you’re a young or an old player you might not get that chance to play at the home of English rugby again.”

Wisbech have already seen off Old Brentwoods, Thetford and Billericay in the Vase, but London Exiles, who are top of their Surrey league, will provide the sternest test so far.

McCall said: “We’re planning to take as many supporters with us as possible. The support we get at Wisbech is fantastic and we couldn’t ask for any more.

“They give encouragement when we are doing well, but also when we’re not. They’re our 16th man.”

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• CUP glory will also be on the minds of Wisbech Hockey Club who travel to Saffron Walden in the last 16 of the Hockey Association Trophy on Sunday.

Wisbech, who are currently fourth in Premier Division B, have already beaten Lincoln Roses and Sudbury in the prestigious competition.

Goalkeeper James Sheppard, 41, has played for Wisbech for 22 years and was part of the sides that lost in the HA finals of 1999/00 and 2001/02.

He said: “I’ll try and gee the lads up by telling them how good getting to a final like that is. It brings the whole club together.

“We all want to get to the final to avenge those past defeats.”