RUGBY UNION: Quins eye improved showing

The Oxford Times: Flanker Sam Bennett makes his first start for Oxford Harlequins Flanker Sam Bennett makes his first start for Oxford Harlequins

OXFORD Harlequins know they must raise their game if they are to defeat visitors Brixham in National 3 South West tomorrow (2).

Quins collected just their second victory of the season in a scrappy match at home to Maidenhead last week.

But head of rugby Steve Chadbone said they need a performance similar to that which almost beat promotion-chasing Exmouth if they were to make it two wins from two when another Devon side visit Oxford.

“Brixham had some very good results early on, but since mid November they have not been doing as well,” said Chadbone.

“If we play as well as we did against Exmouth, we will be in with a shot, but we have to do that.

“We are picking from what is pretty much our strongest squad.”

Flanker Sam Bennett comes in for his first start after a decent debut off the bench.

Ollie Rees is away, so Seisoni Tupou switches to No 8.

Alasdair Maspero replaces the unavailable Jack Cosins at scrum half.

Centre Luke Evans, who missed the Maidenhead game due to illness, comes in for Alan Johnstone.

“Alan did nothing wrong, but Luke is a much more defensively-minded player,” said Chadbone.

“Their No 10 is a talented player and we to keep that area of the field tight.”

Chadbone added: “The first-team pitch is not playable, but we are hoping to play on the St Peter’s College pitch.”

Lock Dave Hughes returns to the Chinnor squad to host Lydney in National 2 South after appearing for parent club London Wasps in the LV= Cup last week.

Youngster Hughes replaces veteran Andy Smith, who is unavailable.

Chinnor are out to avoid a third straight defeat.

“We now have three home games in a row, so hopefully we can make the most of them,” said head coach Jason Bowers.

Henley Hawks have a free week, but will stay second barring a freak victory for Hartpury College.

Chinnor (v Lydney, home): from Winpenny (capt), Tattersall, Pickett, Hughes, Mowbray, Wadd-ingham, Sawyer, Gilbert, Jones, Millett, Gray, Stoop, Goode, Fielding, Colver, Whelan, Berry, Vickers, Mountford, G Blewitt.
 

Oxford Harlequins (v Brixham, home): Hilton, Baird, H Whittington (capt), Evans, Jones, Bourda, Maspero, Chadbone, Edney, Direen, Forde, Brown, Farahani, Bennett, Tupou. Reps: Calladine, Boulton, Halatakoua.

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