RICKY Khan says Chinnor are ready for another tough test at Sale this Saturday.

The Thame-based side make the 330-mile round trip to Greater Manchester in National League 1.

Chinnor travel up today as they look to control all elements of their preparation in their bid to make it seven successive wins.

Last week’s victory over second-placed Rosslyn Park saw the Oxfordshire club, who have not lost on their travels since October, close the gap to their fellow high-fliers to two points.

Sale have won six of their last seven home games, which includes an 8-7 victory over leaders Richmond, but backs coach Khan is confident Chinnor can make it eight games unbeaten on the road.

He said: “It’s another tough fixture for us.

“But I think we’re well equipped at the minute for these different battles and long journeys.

“We’ve gone to places like Plymouth Albion and Hull Ionians and come away with good results, so we’re hoping to go up to Sale, take them on, and try to keep our winning run going.”

Khan believes there is also another reason to the results.

He added: “We’ve said before about our brilliant away support, but I think it’s the fact we’ve become a really close squad now.

“Away from home we know it’s going to be a lot tougher, but the lads just battle through.”

Like every side up and down the country, Chinnor have had to play through several storms this year, namely Dennis and Jorge.

The weather has obviously had an impact on the pitches, but Khan insists the players are willing to put their bodies on the line, no matter the conditions.

“I think we’ve been faced with everything this season,” he said.

“Torrential rain, hurricane winds and now it’s potentially going to be like a mud bath at Sale.

“But I think those kind of adverse conditions galvanise us as a team and we relish the challenge, so for us it’s another feather in the cap and another opportunity.”

Henley Hawks entertain Esher knowing their National League 2 South promotion ambitions are now out of their hands.

Last weekend’s defeat at Clifton saw the Oxfordshire side drop two places to third, with six games left.

Henley name the same pack as they did in Bristol, while Will Crow makes his first start at scrum half and Xav Andre returns at outside centre.

Oxford Harlequins host Beaconsfield in South West 1 East, looking to bounce back from their 42-13 loss to Buckingham last time out.

The Oxfordshire side bring in an all-new back row partnership of Adam Broadbent and Paul Bertier, while Jack Todd returns at flanker.

Last weekend’s postponed home game means Grove suddenly have Frome breathing down their necks in Southern Counties South.

Craig Burrows’ men are three points clear at the summit ahead of their visit to Swindon College Old Boys, but have a game in hand on their closest challengers.

Martin Walsh replaces Dave Hales in the only change to the XV.

Top scorer Rhys Morgan, Lloyd Allen and Gareth Campbell are unavailable for Witney’s trip to Stow-on-the-Wold in Southern Counties North.

The league leaders welcome back Arron Lambourne, Matt Webb and Carl Cambell, while Jordan Pratt and Reiss O’Callaghan-Howard are promoted from the 2nd XV.

Chinnor’s unbeaten away record includes victories over Birmingham Moseley, Hull, Bishop’s Stortford, Rotherham Titans and Canterbury as well as draws at Park and Plymouth.

Director of rugby Matt Williams has previously spoken about his side’s expansive play on the road, something which has been on show at home over the last month.


Chinnor (v Sale, away): from Barnes, Dancer, Ehizode, Elder, Goss, Kirwan, Laverick, Hoadley, Hodson, May, McNulty, Parilli-Ocampo, Pieterse, Ramshaw, Rees, W Ryan, Selway, Treviranus, Tyas, Watson, Worrall, Yawayawa.

Henley Hawks (v Esher, home): Janes, Norville, Andre, Burrage, Panday, Fenley, Crow, Cook, Emery, Mason, Albon, Hyde, Lowe, Lunnon, Bradley. Reps: Primett, Hughes, White, Bellis, Kharbouch.

Oxford Harlequins (v Beaconsfield, home): Graddon, Painton, Hopkins, Broadbent, Bertier, Todd, Crowe, White, Cope, Todd, Turetta, Amphlett, Nutt, Herbertson, Thomas. Reps: Pilcher, De Lange, Smith.

Grove (v Swindon College Old Boys, away): Walsh, Dixey, Hook, Gratwohl, Miles, Law, Birler, B Nicholl, O Nicholl, Wiltshire, Lewis, G Nicholl, D Coombes, Lloyd Jones, Matthews. Reps: Monks, Horrocks, Lambourne.

Witney (v Stow-on-the-Wold, away): Dore, Merriman, Morris, D Webb, M Webb, Campbell, Edwards, Coe, Lambourne, Clarke, Gaffney, Godfrey, Pratt, O’Callaghan-Howard, Toner. Reps: Wilson, Caffekey, Harris.