LOOSE head prop Mark George has turned down the chance to represent the English Counties this weekend so he can play for Stourbridge in their crunch clash at Sedgley Park - writes NICK PULLEN

Director of Rugby Neil Mitchell said: “Mark has opted to turn down an opportunity that doesn’t come around very often by choosing club over country.

“It sends out a message to everyone else just how important this fixture is and he has nothing but huge respect from me.

“Sedgley Park is the first of three fixtures which will ultimately decide whether we win the league, the others being Darlington Mowden Park and Macclesfield.

“I look at these as must-win games and the fact Mark has chosen to play for us has given everyone a big boost”.

Mitchell couldn’t hide his delight with the manner in which his side beat a steely Sheffield Tiger 31-7.

He decided to leave out giant second row player Robbie Hurrell who was suffering from an injury niggle which meant Stour won very little line-out ball.

In fact Stour only won three out of 21 line-outs with Mitchell claiming: “Sheffield had two very tall second row forwards who were front standing at the line-out meaning we couldn’t win much ball.

“That only goes to show how hard we worked on other aspects of the game. I’ve nothing but admiration for the players. But it’s all about the next game now.”