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RUGBY UNION: Gardner poised for Henley bow
NICK Gardner is set for his Henley Hawks debut at Clifton in National 2 South tomorrow after opting not to rejoin Oxford Harlequins.
Hooker Gardner signed for Henley after helping Oxford University to Varsity Match glory and will be on the bench against the Bristol side.
The former Magdalen College School, Oxford pupil shone as Quins avoided relegation last season, but will now hope to be part of a promotion-winning Hawks squad.
Gardner comes in for the absent Dai Maddocks.
Chinnor also add a hooker, Simon Tattersall, to their squad for the trip to basement boys Barking.
Tattersall was injured early in the season, but has played regularly for the second team in recent weeks.
Head coach Jason Bowers said: “We are going really well and there is the old adage that you don’t change a winning team, but we also have an exceptionally strong and competitive second team.
“Hopefully as the season continues, we'll be able to give a few others a chance.”
Barking have yet to record a victory this season, but Bowers is guarding against complacency.
He said: “Barking have got to start winning at some point, I just don’t want it to start this weekend.
Simon Chadbone makes a surprise return as Oxford Harlequins host Exmouth in National 3 South West.
Prop Chadbone left Quins for Wheatley earlier in the season, explaining he could no longer meet the commitment needed .
But his brother, team manager Steve Chadbone, said: “I have had to do a bit of negotiating with Wheatley, but Simon is now back with a bit of brotherly leaning on him.”
Quins also give a debut to former Oxford University student Guillaume Bourda at fly half, while Huw Jones makes his first apearance of the season on the wing.
Player-coach Danny Ligairi-Badham is on the bench.
Luke Manning comes in on the wing for Witney’s home clash with Marlow in South West 1 East, with Rich Stratford and Marc Copperwheat added to the bench.
Chinnor (v Barking, away): from Colver, Gray, Fielding, Goode, Hopwood, Stoop, Hales, Millett, Jones, Winpenny, Stock, Tattersall, Holyland, Berry, Pickett, Hughes, Waddingham, Smith, Mowbray, Sawyer, Gilbert.
Henley Hawks (v Clifton, away): Nutt, Andre, Baggett, Wells, Briggs, Allen (capt), Holmes, Milford-Scott, Dwyer, Manning, Clements, McNally, Payne, Newman, Stapley. Reps: Hadfield, Gardner, Woodward, Carter, O'Neill.
Oxford Harlequins (v Exmouth, home): Hilton, Halatokoua, H Whittington, Evans, Jones, Bourda, Cosins, Chadbone, Edney, Direen, Forde, Clayton, Brown, Toupu, Rees. Reps from: Boulton, Danny Ligairi-Badham, Farahani, Johnson, Baker.
Witney (v Marlow, home): Monks, L Manning, J Lamb, Murton, Strutt, H Lamb, G Campbell, Burke, R Harris, Calley, Bennett, Rowles, Muller, C Campbell, Hic-ks (capt). Reps: Richens, M Copperwheat, Stratford.