MATT Goode is relishing the opportunity to play on the artificial pitch at Horspath Sports Ground as Banbury set sights on a derby victory over Oxford Harlequins.

The sides meet in South West 1 East tomorrow with more than just local bragging rights on offer.

Fifth-placed Bulls are looking to remain in the hunt for the division’s play-off place, while Quins are hoping to boost their chances of at least a top-six finish.

The hosts, who welcome back flanker Joe Nalewabau and hooker Chris Davies, are in their first season on the artificial surface, winning five of their eight matches.

Bulls head coach Goode believes the pitch will suit his side as they target a fourth successive league win over Quins, despite being without unavailable fly-half Sam Stoop.

He said: “We don’t need to do anything different to prepare for it.

“It will possibly play into our hands.

“We can mix it up in the wet and the mud, but the way we like to play is moving the ball around and using our pace out wide.”

Quins head coach Andy Boyle added: “We’re looking forward to it. We’re definitely underdogs, we’ve not beaten a side you would class as top three for a few years.

“If we’re serious about improving every year, that’s one thing we need to get better at.”

He added: “There’s always a few tasty local fixtures and the Banbury one has sparked a few feisty games in the last few years.

“But that’s great and that’s what this league is about. It’s always played in the right spirit and everyone shakes hands afterwards.”

Relegation-threatened Witney are without captain Matt Clarke (suspended) and injured winger Rhys Morgan (arm) for their trip to

fourth-placed Marlborough.

Carl Strutt and Alex Foggett are handed starts in their place.

Chinnor search for their first win since January 12 when they travel to leaders Old Elthamians in National League 1.

Meanwhile, Jake Albon returns from injury to start in the second row as Henley Hawks make the trip to Worthing in National League 2 South.


Henley Hawks (v Worthing, away): Webb, Wood, Andre, Barnes, Griffiths, Bolster, Goodfellow, Cook, Emery,

Manning, Albon, Hyde, Hall, Lunnon, Bradley. Reps: Primett, Stobbs, Janes, L O’Neill, White.

Banbury (v Oxford Harlequins, away): from Boulton, Brady, Jack Briggs, Jack Briggs, Brock, Carr-Archer, Goode, Gray, Isham, Leese, Jacob Mills, Joe Mills, Parker, Phillips, Potter, Saar, Turner, Winpenny.

Oxford Harlequins (v Banbury, home): Henderson, Crowe, Nutt, Stacey, Turetta, Garrett, Jones, Cashman, Davies, P De Lange, Purchase, Myatt, Nalewabau, Todd, Alston. Reps: Fairburn, O’Brian, Head.

Witney (v Marlborough, away): Gaffney, Fisk, Strutt, Godfrey, Foggett, Landray, Lambourne, Nobbs, Harris, Wakeman, M Webb, Mortimer, Clothier, C Campbell, Caffekey. Reps: Dore, D Webb, Birks.

Grove (v Bradford-on-Avon, away): McCarthy, Tokelove, Hull, Coombs, G Nicholl, Wiltshire, O Nicholl, Hales, Dixey, Walsh, Gratwohl, Miles, Ponting, Lambourn, B Nicholl. Reps: Hook, Monks, Marshall.


Southern Counties North: Bicester v Littlemore, Wallingford v Reading.

Southern Counties South: Bradford-on-Avon v Grove.

BB&O Premier: Chesham v Gosford All Blacks, Didcot v Drifters, Wheatley v Milton Keynes.

RFU Senior Vase – Southern Counties semi-final: Oxford v Chesham.

RFU Junior Vase – Southern Counties semi-final: Phoenix v Chipping Norton.