LUDLOW Rugby Club’s players are shaping up nicely for Saturday’s opening test against rivals Malvern, says spokesman Phil Norton.

The Linneymen will be coming face to face with former head coach Dave Irish in the North Midlands Shield clash.

Ludlow were beaten 38-7 by higher-graded Hereford in a training match last weekend and had previously recorded a 17-14 win over Bishops Castle.

Ludlow are being coached this season by Norman Stalker and Norton thinks the players are adapting to a new style of play.

Phil Norton said: “The players started to use their new game plan and it will take them a little bit of time for them to get comfortable with it and used to it.

“I watched a bit of the third quarter of the match with Hereford and Ludlow spent all their time in Hereford’s half and they looked in excellent shape.”

He added: “Malvern will be a very good test for us because Malvern have come down a league and have played Bridgnorth in a friendly.

“We are quietly confident that should we have a strong squad available, we will be able to give them a good match.

“Our new coach has had enough time to work with the players and he will be selecting the captain and vice-captain this week.”

Will Norton scored Ludlow’s try and kicked the conversion against Hereford, who dominated possession in the first half registering five tries.

At the interval, Hereford were well on top, but the second period proved to be very different. Ludlow began to get some good possession, they kept play in the Hereford half and after 51 minutes Norton crossed for a converted try.