Season preview - South West 1 East

FORMER prop Andy Gosling has taken over as Witney’s head coach ahead of their new campaign.

Gosling replaces Phil Harper, who is taking a back seat, and will be assisted by John Campbell, Andy Merriman, Daz Bibby and Mark Serle.

Witney have signed Bedford utility back Sam Osborne, Farnham scrum half Alex Carlsson and centre Tom Gardenr.

But wings Phil Gouldie and Aaron Lambourne, plus full back Ed Mitcham, have left.

Witney, who host Cheltenham in tomorrow’s opener, have had two solid seasons at this level.

“We are looking to build on our results in the division this last two years,” said manager Dave Martingale.

“We are under no illusions that it will not be as tough as before, but if the chances come to progress, we will take them.”

Versatile forward Jez Hicks continues as captain.

IN: T Gardner (RAF, centre), A Carlsson (Farnham, scrum half), S Osborne (Bedford, utility back).

OUT: P Gouldie (Bury St Edmunds, wing), E Mitcham (moved away, full back), A Lambourne (moved away, wing).


PREDICTION: Top 4 if they can find a consistent kicker.


Witney (v Cheltenham, home): Clarke, L Collins, Murton, J Lamb, Strutt, H Lamb, G Campbell, Calley, S Collins, Burke, M Copperwheat, Rowles, Muller, C Campbell, J Hicks (capt). Reps: Fuller, Haire, Monks.