Jack's back for Lismore
THE return of fullback Jack Pinchin will provide only short-term relief for Lismore City ahead of their clash with the Casino Bulls in Far North Coast rugby union at Lismore Rugby Park today.
Pinchin last turned out for City in the 2011 grand final against Lennox Head before moving to Sydney to play First XV Colts with the Southern Districts club.
His team failed to make the finals and although he can play the rest of the FNC season for Lismore City, he won't have enough time to rack up six games to be eligible for finals.
Adding to City's frustration, their Zimbabwean winger Terrence Kuvarega will also fall two games short of qualifying.
Kuvarega was meant to arrive in the pre-season but after visa problems he played his first game only a fortnight ago, against the Wollongbar-Alstonville Pioneers.
"We've put a request in to see if can get special consideration because of the circumstances," Lismore coach Will Cotterill said.
"It will have to go to the (FNC) board and I think a few clubs are putting in similar requests to get players available for the finals."
City have also lost winger Tyler Green, who dislocated his knee in a game against Southern Cross University last weekend.
Despite having third or fourth spot on the ladder wrapped up, the Greens will be motivated this afternoon by Casino having beaten them 19-17 in their previous meeting in June.
"We're keen to get a bit of revenge and it's important that we get a couple of good wins together," Cotterill said.
"Tyler would have been pretty useful on the wing so having Jack in the backline definitely helps."
In other games today, Ballina will need to improve when they host Lennox Head at Quays Reserve, Ballina, and Wollongbar-Alstonville should beat bottom-placed Southern Cross University at Lyle Park, Wollongbar.
The Pioneers are celebrating an old boys reunion with a barbecue lunch from 1pm.
All games will kick offat 3.15pm.
Grafton has the bye.
The first week of FNC rugby union finals will be September 8-9, with the minor semi-final on the Saturday and the major semi-final on the Sunday.
The preliminary final will be played on September 15 and the grand final at Crozier Field in Lismore on September 22.