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RUGBY UNION: Henley prepared for stiffest challenge
10:00am Friday 13th September 2013 in Rugby
Henley's director of rugby Mike Poulson is warning his side face one of their toughest tests this season when they travel to Esher tomorrow.
Hawks made a flying start to life in National 1 with a 51-17 victory over Tynedale last week.
But they now take on the side that finished second last season.
“It was a very good start and we were very happy with that,” Poulson said.
“But this will be a much tougher test. They finished runners-up last season and will be strong.”
Liam O’Neill is injured so Tom Allen switches to full back from centre, with Danny Wells coming in at No 12.
Back-row forward Oskar Hirskyj-Douglas has been called up to Wasps’ A team so misses Chinnor’s home game with Dings Crusaders in National 2 South.
The hosts are keen to record back-to-back victories, not least because in the evening they host their 50th anniversary dinner.
Joint head coach Matt Goode said: “It’s a big day, so hopefully we can get the right result and enjoy the night.”
Oxford Harlequins’ head of rugby Steve Chadbone says there is more to come from his side ahead of an Oxfordshire derby with Witney in South West 1 East.
Relegated Quins started life in their new league with a 36-15 victory over Newbury Blues.
But Chadbone is expecting further improvement.
“It was a very good start and we were unlucky not to score a couple more tries,” he said.
“We have been working on a number of things in training this week.
“We know what we’re going to get against Witney. It will be a hard game and we know they’ll be up for it.”
Ben Selby and Ralph Jones come into the team as Quins rotate their squad.
Witney make three changes from the side who opened their season with a dramatic 20-19 win over Buckingham.
James Lamb, Gareth Campbell and Matt Clarke come in.
Ben Nichol moves from front to back when Grove travel to Towcestrians.
Having played last week in the back row, Nichol switches to centre.
Henley Hawks (v Esher, away): Allen, Andre, Nutt (capt), Wells, Awcock, Comben, Carter, Maddocks, Penny, Manning, Clements, McNally, Woodward, Dwyer, Payne. Reps: Church, Stapley, Long, Bruce, Payne.
Chinnor (v Dings Crusaders, home) from Jones, Cathcart, Fielding, Millett, Goode, Farr, Mountford, Whelan, Winpenny, Wood, Hopwood, Corpe, Tichard-Jones, Vickers, Berry, Mowbray, Gilbert, Tibbert, Hastings, Smith.
Harlequins (v Witney, away): Robinson, Walsh Johnson, Fisilau, Seals, Norris, Jones, Marshall, Rodriguez, Bolton, Purchase, Brown (capt), Saleby, Toupou, Achilles. Reps: Edney, Battson, Bennett.
Witney (v Oxford Harlequins, home) H Lamb, Monks, Clarke, J Lamb, Collins, Thomas, G Campbell, Richardson, A Copperwheat, Richens, C Copperwheat, Bennett, Hicks (capt), Muller, Rowles. Reps: Burke, C Campbell, Hyde, Murton.
Grove (v Towcestrians, away): N Sevier, Carr, B Nichol, Bellinger, G Nichol, R Sevier, Gustafson, Eckert (capt), Dixey, Wallbridge, Miles, Wright, Hare, Wells, Gratwohl. Reps: Wilkinson, Lewis, Peel.
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