Unbeaten Gosport & Fareham are boosted by the return of Ben Madigan for their London two south west derby against Winchester at Gosport Park.
The influential number eight has missed the past three weeks through injury, and coach Scott Ashley is delighted to have him back in contention.
‘Ben is a key figure for us with his dynamic play off the base of set-pieces,’ said Ashley.
‘His style of direct running suits us and helps us get over the gain line in our attacking play.
‘He is also ferocious at the breakdown area, often giving us the advantage and turning over opposition ball.
‘His Rugby League background also gives him great lines of running.’
Though they have not been at their best in recent weeks, Ashley’s team have kept on winning – and collecting bonus points into the bargain.
At Old Reigatians last week they also showed they have the character to fight back when finding themselves in a tight corner.
Trailing 15-0 after 20 minutes, it looked as though the unbeaten record was about to disappear.
Remarkably, Gosport showed their battling qualities to hit back to win 29-21 in the end.
‘This season is going to be all about scrapping for wins and bonus points,’ said Ashley.
‘The players showed great resolve to get themselves out of a sticky situation.
‘They showed they were not prepared to give up.
‘We are going to need a lot more of that because we are still to play the top-three sides.
‘They will require us to be sharper and to dig deeper again.
‘Winchester are in the top half after being promoted last season and we are expecting them to give us a hard game.
‘Our aim is to keep the winning run going, though that gets harder every game.
‘One area we need to strengthen is our defence because we have let sides through for tries that were avoidable.’
Sean Sheppard may be missing due to his county under-18 duties.
In Hampshire two, Fareham Heathens travel to the north of the county to take on Aldershot & Fleet. Locksheath Pumas visit Chineham.