Portsmouth forced to make changes

Recall: Portsmouth's Matt Gronow

Recall: Portsmouth's Matt Gronow

Barry Bridgman. Picture: Neil Marshall

Gosport are defeated as poor start is costly

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Portsmouth are forced to go into their Hampshire Cup semi-final against Basingstoke at Rugby Camp with a makeshift side (3pm).

The city club are without seven of their most-promising youngsters because of their involvement in the Hampshire under-20 side the next day.

Nick Leach, Nick Lynch, Matt Peters, Charlie Cutler, Simon Morgan, Harry Hodell and Rob Giquelare all miss out.

‘It’s a shame but we have to be fair to the lads playing for Hampshire,’ said coach Ian Chandler.

‘We are still looking forward to the game, though, because it will give us a chance to measure ourselves against a team playing at a higher level.

‘It is difficult to know what to expect from Basingstoke because they are involved in a relegation battle in the Natonal League.

‘They will probably regard that as their priority, but whatever team they field, we will be looking to have a go at them.

‘We have nothing to lose.

‘It has been a difficult few weeks and the players have looked tired in the last couple of league games.

‘But we recharged our batteries in midweek and are determined to finish the season in a positive fashion.

‘If that can include a cup success then even better because everyone wants to do well against local opponents.’

The hosts welcome back prop Ben Cumins after injury and are likely to recall veteran Matt Gronow into the centre.

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