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RUGBY UNION: Selection fight cheers Bowers
CHINNOR head coach Jason Bowers is relishing the selection headache he finds himself with this season.
Wings Tristan Corpe and Pip Seymour, plus prop Joe Winpenny return to the squad for tomorrow’s National 2 South trip to Bournemouth, while Tom Gray (work commitments) misses out.
But there is a queue of others knocking on Bowers’s door.
“We have a squad of around 40 players who are pretty much interchangeable,” said Bowers.
“I had a look at the second team last week and was really, really impressed.
“It makes selection incredibly challenging, but I'd much prefer to be in that position.
“We are playing 28 games week to week and we will pick up plenty of bumps and bruises. The challenge is to keep everyone happy.”
Bournemouth denied Chinnor the National 3 South West title last year and have begun with one win and one defeat.
Bowers said: “We are going there full of confidence, having had a great win on the first day of the season.”
Leaders Henley Hawks hand a first start to Martin Nutt for their trip to Southend.
The former Oxford Harlequins player comes in at full back, with captain Tom Allen moving to centre to replace Danny Wells, who damaged a wrist against Lydney.
Richard Briggs starts on the wing in place of Xavier Andre, who drops to the bench.
Ryan Newman returns at openside flanker in place of Chris Emmett.
Former Henley centre Jordan Higgins could make his Oxford Harlequins debut when they host Chippenham in National 3 South West.
Higgins will come in if Graham Sage fails a fitness test on the knee he injured in last week’s 69-8 defeat at Brixham.
Quins director of rugby Tevita Vaikona said: “We are trying to have a more consistent team rather than chopping and changing.
“We don’t want the kind of result we got at Brixham.
“We have got a very young team and played one of the stronger teams in the league last week.”
Quins are bottom after two heavy defeats.
But Vaikona stressed: “For me, the results don’t really matter at this point. It is the performances.
“Last week was a huge improvement from the week before.”
Tim Muller moves from flanker to centre as Witney host High Wycombe in South West 1 East.
Regular centre James Lamb starts at fly half, with Sam Collins returning at hooker.
Chinnor (v Bournemouth, away): from Colver, Seymour, T Corpe, Goode, Stoop, Chase, Cathcart, Jones, Winpenny (capt), Stock, Berry, Tattersall, Pickett, Whelan, Blewitt, Wood, Smith, Gilbert, Williams, Kava, Whelan, Davies, Fielding.
Henley Hawks (v Southend, away): Nutt, O'Neill, Allen (capt), James, Briggs, Comben, Shaylor, Maddocks, Brennan, Hadfield, Dwyer, Cannock, Payne, Newman, Stapley. Reps: Milford-Scott, Williams, Downing, Woodward, Andre.
Oxford Harlequins (v Chippenham, home): from Chadbone (capt), Edney, Boulton, Kalemani, Brown, Forde, Reeves, Powell, Cosins, Stevenson, Briggs, Kelly, Sage, Bodinham, H Whittington, Crowe, Ward, Higgins.
Witney (v High Wycombe, home): Monks, L Manning, Murton, Muller, Carlsson, J Lamb, G Campbell, Fuller, S Collins, Burke, M Copperwheat, Haire, J Hicks (capt), C Campbell, Rowles. Reps: Calley, Rihan, Roper.
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