Portsmouth out to ‘do the business’ as proud Beesley returns

Curtis Barnes. Picture: Mick Young
Curtis Barnes. Picture: Mick Young
Dylan Raubenheimer. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

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Portsmouth have key players back for their crucial London two south west visit to London Cornish.

Experienced second-row Ian Thatcher makes a timely return to face the powerful home pack of forwards.

The Rugby Camp outfit are also boosted by the availability of dangerous winger Curtis Barnes, who grabbed a hat-trick of tries in his last outing.

Director of rugby Ed Neville is confident his side can get the result they need in their bid to climb out of the bottom three.

‘London Cornish are fourth but I am convinced we have the ability to upset them,’ he said.

‘If we can get parity up front I believe we can dominate the breakdown and line-outs.

‘We have moved Gareth Richards to inside centre where he can distribute the ball and break the gain line.

‘I think we can go there and do the business.’

Meanwhile, Southsea Nomads centre Aaron Beesley will experience a culture shock when he lines up against Stoneham in the Hampshire two game at Furze Lane.

Only six days ago the 23-year-old ran out at the famous Cardiff Arms Park as a replacement to earn his first cap for England Deaf Rugby in their 37-3 defeat to Wales.

‘It was a once in a lifetime experience,’ he admitted.

‘I was still pinching myself on Sunday evening and couldn’t believe it had happened.

‘We didn’t get the result we wanted but I managed to get in a few runs and make a couple of big hits.

‘There are a couple more training sessions before we have another game in March.

‘My ambition is to stay in the squad and be part of it in next year’s World Cup.

‘For now, though, I am happy getting back to playing with my mates.

‘We have had a tough season at Nomads but things are looking up.

‘After a good start we experienced a dip in form but now have a few players coming back from injury.’

Also in Hampshire two, Fareham Heathens can close the gap on leaders 
Petersfield by winning at Ventnor.

Locks Heath Pumas travel to Aldershot & Fleet.