EAST Lancashire’s rugby teams return to action at the weekend following the festive break.

Rossendale, Blackburn, Burnley, Colne and Nelson, Pendle, Clitheroe and Chorley will all be hoping for a good second half to the season.

Dale, who return with a trip to high-flying Sandal, will be looking to have a fully fit squad after their hopes of another push for the play-offs was wrecked by injury in the opening 13 games. The Marl Pits side are currently eighth in National League Three, 16 points off a play-off place, so it would take a monumental push to repeat last season’s feat.

Blackburn have given themselves a chance of promotion thanks to victory against second place Aldwinians last time out.

Dino Radice’s side are fifth in North Lancs/Cumbria, 13 points adrift of Eccles who currently occupy second place.

Burn travel north to take on Workington on Saturday.

In North Lancs One, Burnley won’t have to complete the great escape they did last season.

In fact, under player/coach Simon Finnan, Burnley could possible finish as high as third this season. They resume at Oldham.

Third-placed Pendle have the best chance of promotion from North Lancs Two and put those hopes to the test when they travel to rivals Ashton-Under-Lyne.

Colne and Nelson will be looking to kick on and travel to Clitheroe for an East Lancs derby at the weekend.

And Chorley host Crosby St Mary’s looking to climb in to the top half of the table.