Focus is elsewhere for Gosport and Havant

Matt Flower, with ball, will line-up alongside his father Paul

Matt Flower, with ball, will line-up alongside his father Paul

Joel Knight has a bad injury. Picture: Keith Woodland

Joel’s serious foot injury is big blow as Havant chase play-off spot

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The senior local sides take a break from league action and turn their attentions towards the Hampshire Senior Cup semi-finals, with Gosport & Fareham hosting Havant (2pm).

Havant openly admit they will be fielding a squad side, minus many, if not all of their first-team, with their priority remaining firmly fixed on ensuring National League survival.

‘My thoughts on the Hampshire Senior Cup are well documented,’ said Havant director of rugby Adam King.

‘Regretfully, the changing face of rugby means that these games don’t have quite the same importance as in the past.

‘Our priority has to be next week’s league game against Staines and our attempts to secure National League salvation.

‘However, as supporters of Hampshire rugby, we will be fielding as competitive a side as we can and it will be an opportunity for some of the fringe players to push their case for a place.

‘In my position I accept full responsibility but I feel we have no alternative because we still have some very important unfinished business to take care of in the league.’

Although Gosport are resting a number of key players, they still include nine of the squad who played in last week’s excellent 21-17 win over Twickenham.

Those first-team regulars included are joined by David Cleary and John Field, who are more than capable of holding their own.

Four second-team players who are right on the fringes of the first XV will also play – Matt Thurston, Matt Selstrom, Tom Barnes and Nathan Titchener.

They are joined by vastly-experienced hooker Malcolm Wheeler, who last played in the Gosport team that won the Hampshire Bowl last season.

And fellow-veteran Paul Flower will appear alongside his son and regular number-eight Matt Flower for the first time.

‘We are resting some first-team players after a long and hard first season in our league,’ said Gos director of rugby Jamie Daly.

‘After promotion last season, we have achieved our target already which was to maintain our place in the league. However, there are still two important and big games to come and it is our intention to try to improve on our position if we can.’

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