Havant hold ‘no fear’ of Dorking test

Pete Austin, centre, returns for Havant
Pete Austin, centre, returns for Havant
Southsea Nomads made progress. Picture: Neil Marshall

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Havant rugby manager Rob Matthews believes his side can play with greater freedom when they visit second-placed Dorking in National League Three London & south east (3pm).

‘After the start we have had, no-one will be expecting us to achieve anything at Dorking,’ said Matthews.

‘That should take a lot of pressure off and enable us to play with no fear.

‘The players should be able to go out there and express themselves and have a free rein without worrying about mistakes.

‘We have been seeing areas of improvement each week and it was encouraging against Bracknell last weekend.

‘That should give us a platform to build on.

‘For the first time this week we also had to have a protracted selection meeting because we have players coming back from injury and others making themselves available.

‘It makes us increasingly competitive and we know from the early games what standard we need to play at to compete in National League rugby.

‘We are starting to gel as a squad.’

Hooker Pete Austin has returned from London Irish and expects to make his first appearance, while ex-Hampshire under-20 second-row Will Williams is also expected to make a first appearance of the season.

Jim White, son of Havant stalwart Viv White, makes his debut in the centre.

Luke Marks and Sam Cutting return to the front row, and Joe Price could re-appear in the centre.

Winger Dickie Duke trained in the week, which is good news, but work commitments rule him out and Darren Bamford is also missing with navy duties.

Havant: Stapleton, Craig, Blackburn J, Blackburn L, Morris, White, Knight, Davenport L, Fenn, Marks, Cutting, Austin, Williams, Roberts D, Godger, Horn, Bellman, Parkin