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RUGBY UNION: Quins targeting unbeaten season
10:00am Friday 1st November 2013 in Sport
OXFORD Harlequins have set their sights on going through the season unbeaten after winning their first eight matches in South West 1 East.
Leaders Quins bid to make it nine straight wins when they take on lowly Cheltenham at North Hinksey Lane.
And manager Steve Chadbone said: “What we are trying to achieve is going through the whole season unbeaten – that is the call from the boys, not ourselves.”
He added that inspirational skipper, second row Luke Brown, had been pivotal to the team’s success.
“His team speeches are becoming legendary in the dressing room, so we just leave it to him to do now,” added Chadbone, who is putting the emphasis on squad rotation.
Pete Boulton returns in the front row, with Ramen Farahani coming in at flanker in place of the unavailable Ben Selby.
Keni Fisilau steps in at centre, with Adam Walsh moving to the wing, and Will Hilton dropping to the bench.
Hooker Steve Dixey broke his right hand in Grove’s 20-16 defeat by Maidenhead last Saturday, and misses the trip to Marlow.
Veteran Jon North, who hasn’t seen first-team action for some time, takes his place.
Manager Phil Rennie said of Dixey: “He will get it re-assessed in two weeks, and we are hoping it is only a short-term thing because he has been playing really well.”
Full back Roger Sevier returns and forward Craig Cox comes into the squad, but centre Nick Sevier and flanker Dave Wells are unavailable.
Hooker Adam Copperwheat, lock Scott Mortimer, flanker Tim Muller and centre Matt Clarke return for Witney’s trip to Maidenhead.
Captain Jez Hicks is among those missing out from last week.
James Comben returns to the side at full back for Henley Hawks’ long trip to Blaydon in National 1.
Liam O’Neill moves to the left wing, with former Blaydon player Charlie Incledon dropping to the bench.
Hawks have named the same pack that impressed in last week’s 11-10 defeat of leaders Doncaster Knights.
Chinnor visit Bristol side Clifton in National 2 South.
Henley Hawks (v Blaydon, away): Comben, J Robinson, Nutt (capt), Allen, O’Neill, W Robinson, Carter, Milford-Scott, Brennan, Penny, Clements, McNally, Woodward, Long, Stapley. Reps: Hadfield, Maddocks, Haynes, Ashmore, Incledon.
Grove (v Marlow, away): from Eckert (capt), North, Lane, Wilkinson, Miles, Haire, Young, Peel, Gratwohl, Gustafson, Lewis, Maryon, Bellinger, Nicholl, Clipsham, Andrews, R Sevier, Cox, Carr.
Oxford Harlequins (v Cheltenham, home): Seals, Walsh, Lee, Fisilau, Johnstone, Norris, Jones, Edney, Rodrigues, Boulton, Brown (capt), Purchase, Battson, Farahani, Achilles. Reps: Marshall, Hilton, plus either Tickle, Neal, Barlow or Robinson.
Witney (v Maidenhead, away): H Lamb, Monks, Clarke, Hyde, Beasley, Thomas, G Campbell, Burke, A Copperwheat, Richens, M Copperwheat, Mortimer, Muller, C Campbell, Rowles. Reps from: Strutt, Catherall, Richardson, Harris.
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