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RUGBY UNION: Chinnor prepared for pitch battle
CHINNOR are prepared to pull out all the stops to help tomorrow’s home game with Canterbury go ahead.
Head coach Jason Bowers accepts the forecast of snow and freezing temperatures puts the National 2 South clash in doubt, but they are not giving up hope.
“We’ll prepare for the game as if it is a nice proper winter rugby day,” said Bowers.
“We managed to get a game on against Redingensians a few years ago when it had snowed, with everyone helping to clear the pitch.
“It is a big day for the club on Saturday as it is our youth day and we have London Welsh staff coming along as well, so hopefully we can get the game on.
“The lastest we will make a decision is 9am on Saturday as Canterbury’s coach will leave at 9.30.”
Wing Pip Seymour and full back Henry Colver could return after injury, while hooker Matt Holyland is added to the squad.
Henley Hawks will make four changes for the visit of Taunton, should their match go ahead at Dry Leas.
Prop Jim Hadfield, flanker Will Woodward, fly half Will Robinson and scrum half Jonah Holmes are all included.
Ireland A rugby league international JJ Baird has been selected for his Oxford Harlequins debut at National 3 South West leaders London Irish Wild Geese.
Baird, who has been named on the wing, is getting in some match practice after signing for Oxford Rugby League.
“I don’t think it is going to warm up, but we are going to prepare for it,” said Quins’ head of rugby Steve Chadbone.
“The big picture for us are the next four weeks afterwards, which are must-win games.”
Another Oxford rugby league recruit, Kenny Callading, could make his debut off the bench should the match survive the big freeze.
Lewis Collins is due to return on the wing for Witney’s trip to Newbury in South West 1 East, while Marc Copperwheat gets a start in the back row.
Scot Mortimer comes in on the bench.
Chinnor (v Canterbury, home): from Colver, Seymour, Gray, Mountford, Fielding, Goode, Stoop, Hales, Millett, Hopwood, Jones, Winpenny, Stock, Holyland, Tattersall, Whelan, Berry, Smith, Mowbray, Hughes, Vickers, Sawyer, Gilbert.
Henley Hawks (v Taunton): Nutt, Andre, Wells, Allen (capt), Briggs, Robinson, Holmes, Milford-Scott, Dwyer, Hadfield, Clements, McNally, Payne, Wood-ward, Stapley. Reps: Manning, Maddocks, Newman, Baggett, Carter.
Oxford Harlequins (v London Irish Wild Geese, away): Hilton, Baird, H Whittington, Evans, Halatokoua, Bourda, Cosins, Chadbone, Edney, Direen, Brown, Clayton, Forde, Toupu, Rees. Reps: Boulton, Callading, Ligairi-Badham.
Witney (v Newbury, away): Monks, Lee Manning, J Lamb, Clarke, L Collins, H Lamb, G Campbell, Burke, R Harris, Richens, Bennett, Rowles, M Copperwheat, C Campbell, J Hicks (capt). Reps: Stratford, Calley, Mortimer.