9:00am Friday 10th January 2014
By Ed Mezzetti
OXFORD Harlequins look set to defy the city’s flooding problems by staging their home game with Salisbury in South West 1 East tomorrow.
Leaders Quins are desperate to resume playing, and head of rugby Steve Chadbone is confident they will be able to host basement boys Salisbury.
“We are 95 per cent sure that it’s going ahead because we are playing on the top pitch,” he said.
“We have left off it in training, so it is in as good a condition as it could be.”
Captain Luke Brown was away for last week’s postponed clash at Reading, but is available to start at lock.
Quins last played on December 14 when they beat Witney 25-0 at home.
“We are just looking forward to getting a game on, we are itching to get going,” said Chadbone.
Witney should learn tonight whether their match at Reading will take place.
Phil Thomas would return at fly half, with Henry Lamb moving to centre.
Grove’s home game with Buckingham looks to be very doubtful.
An inspection on the council-owned ground will take place this morning.
The versatile Liam Dwyer moves from hooker to second row as Henley Hawks host Coventry in National 1.
Ant Brennan returns from illness to take over the No 2 shirt from Dwyer, who has also played at flanker this season.
Fly half James Comben and centre Tom Allen both have been declared fit, despite suffering injuries in last week’s defeat at Rosslyn Park.
Utility back Neil Baggett replaces Simon Perry on the bench.
There was no standing water on the pitch yesterday and prospects looks good for tomorrow.
Henley Hawks (v Coventry, home): Yarnton, Bart, Nutt (capt), T Allen, O’Neill, Comben, Carter, Maddocks, Brennan, Penny, Dwyer, McNally, L Allen, Long, R Stapley. Reps: Hadfield, Woodward, C Stapley, Newman, Baggett.
Oxford Harlequins (v Salisbury, home): Hilton, Robinson, Lee, Fisilau, Johnstone, Norris, Jones, Marshall, Edney, Boulton, Brown (capt), Purchase, Battson, Tupou, Achilles. Reps from: Si Chadbone, Barlow, Walsh, Tickle.
Witney (v Reading, away): Lambourne, Monks, Strutt, H Lamb, Beasley, Thomas, G Campbell, Burke, A Copperwheat, Richens, Bennett, Rowles, C Campbell, Catherall, Hicks (capt). Reps: Clarke, Harris, Mortimer.
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