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RUGBY UNION: Bowers tipping Chinnor to fire
CHINNOR head coach Jason Bowers hopes his players can rise to the occasion when they host promotion-chasing Worthing Raiders in National 2 South tomorrow (2.30).
Bowers admits Chinnor have blown a little hot and cold so far this campaign, winning two and and losing two of their four matches.
But entertaining Worthing, who have a 100 per cent record, should be a test for the Thame-based club to relish.
“We have got 13 points on the board and played well in parts, but it has been patchy,” said Bowers.
“I am hoping that this game against a very exciting team will bring out the best in us.
“Worthing like to chuck the ball around. They have got a good full back and Kiba Richards in the centre has played at the top level.
“It will be a good benchmark to see where we are.”
Wing Pip Seymour is back from holiday, while back-row forward Evan Sawyer hopes to have shrugged off a minor elbow injury.
Hooker Matt Holyland is also added to the squad and could be handed his league debut.
Bowers added: “There is nothing to lose. These are the games where you just look to give it a real crack.
“As much as we try to be ‘professional’ as an amateur club, the lads do tend to switch on for these games in a different way.”
Experienced lock James Winterbottom makes his first appearance of the season as leaders Henley Hawks entertain Launceston.
Australian forward Liam Dwyer moves up to hooker from second row, while Ant Brennan and Ed Stembridge come in on the bench.
However, Henley, who have scored an average of eight tries a game on their charge to the top of the table, have been disappointed with home crowds that are struggling to top the 300-mark.
Oxford Harlequins visit fellow strugglers Maidenhead in National League 3 South West, with director of rugby Tevita Vaikona desperate for a first win.
Both sides have dismal records of played five, lost five – so something has to give when they clash tomorrow.
“These are the sort of matches we have to win,” says Vaikona.
Quins are forced into one change with Simon Chadbone unavailable, so Pete Boulton comes into the front row.
Witney make four changes to their starting line-up for the trip to high-flying Old Centralians in South West 1 East.
Flanker Josh Rihan, locks Joe Rowles and Charlie Bennett, plus prop Matt Calley all come in.
Mark Fuller and Tim Muller drop to the bench, with Marc Copperwheat and Richard Haire out of the squad.
Chinnor (v Worthing, home): from Colver, Gray, Goode, Stoop, Corpe, Seymour, Fielding, Hopwood, Cathcart, Jones, Winpenny (capt), Cawston, Holyland, Whelan, Pickett, Berry, Mowbray, Smith, Gilbert, Wood, Williams, Sawyer, Kava.
Henley Hawks (v Launceston, home): Allen (capt), Briggs, James, Wells, Nutt, Comben, Shaylor, Maddocks, Dwyer, Hadfield, Cannock, Winterbottom, Payne, Newman, Stapley. Reps: Milford-Scott, Brennan, Woodward, Stembridge, Andre.
Oxford Harlequins (v Maidenhead, away): Hilton, Maspero, Wittington, Derrick, Briggs, Todd, Cosins, Edney, Davies, Boulton, Kalemani, Sammutt, Knapp, Ward, Rees. Reps: Neal, Bodinham.
Witney (v Old Centralians, away): Clarke, Monks, Murton, T Gardner, L Collins, H Lamb, G Campbell, Calley, S Collins, Richens, Rowles, Bennett, Rihan, C Campbell, J Hicks (capt). Reps: Fuller, Muller, Strutt.