Linton Army confirmed to take their place in senior A Manawatu club rugby competition

Angus White is one of the few players returning to the Linton Army rugby team who played for the side last year.
WARWICK SMITH

Angus White is one of the few players returning to the Linton Army rugby team who played for the side last year.

Linton Army have given the green light for its team to play a full role in the Manawatu club rugby senior A season.

Concerns were raised last week that they would not have enough front-rowers to handle the rigours of the club season.

They lost their top four props on army assignments leaving them scratching for numbers.

Co-coaches Ross Rainham and Dwayne Eriksson said they would make their decision following the team's final preseason match against Upper Hutt on Saturday.

Despite Linton losing the match 39-28, Rainham confirmed they were going ahead with the season as planned.

"The boys competed well on Saturday so Dwayne and I have decided to push on and compete in the top division," he said.

But it will still be battle for the soldiers throughout the season with the side typically having a high turnover of players each week.

And they are missing just about all of their squad from last year.

"We have got seven guys back this year from last year's side and we used 59 players last year, " Rainham said.

The likes of Nick Fakahau, Jimmy Berghan, Leni Tonga, TeJay Oliver, Angus White and Matt Cressy provide them with an important core while former Turbos wing Hamiora Thomas is expected back in the mix early in the season after recovering from his shoulder injury.

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A handful of Linton-based soldiers have headed off for other clubs.

The army has an order which would force those players back to Linton, but there is no word yet if that will be used.

 - Stuff

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