Portsmouth set to unleash new prop at Cornish

Dan Gates, left, is back for Portsmouth

Dan Gates, left, is back for Portsmouth

Dan Sargent scores for Hampshire against Warwickshire. Picture: Keith Woodland (17064-492)

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Portsmouth prop forward Tom Jones will be given his debut at London two south west pace-setters London Cornish.

Coach Ian Chandler knows the Rugby Camp side face a daunting task against the unbeaten league leaders who have won three and drawn one match so far.

But he’s looking for Portsmouth to show they are making progress.

‘It is another game that will show us where we are in our development,’ said Chandler.

‘So far London Cornish have lived up to their billing as favourites to win our league.

‘We are yet to play to our full potential but our team is learning and improving all the time.’

Full-back Chris Morgan and centre Dan Gates return for Portsmouth.

Back-row forward Jackson Clark keeps his place after impressing in the Intermediate Cup win at Aylsford Bulls.

United Services take on Fordingbridge as both sides put unbeaten records on the line in Hampshire one.

Services coach Graeme Butterworth believes his men have nothing to lose.

He said: ‘This is a massive game for us against good opponents who have been established for a few years.

‘In contrast, we are still in the process of forming our squad.

‘Therefore we can go there without putting any pressure on ourselves with nothing to lose.

‘We are fielding a strong squad, though, and will be competitive.

‘If we stick to our patterns and work hard then there is a chance we could upset the applecart.’

Services include new player-coach Keith Molyneux in the replacements.

Matt Davis starts at hooker in place of Gareth Guyll who has a back problem.

Newly-promoted Fareham Heathens cross the Solent to face the Isle of Wight.

‘It is always a tough game across the water and we won’t take anything for granted,’ said Heathens coach Bernie Rhodes.

‘We have won both games since stepping up and we are quietly confident about our prospects.

In Hampshire two, Locks Heath Pumas host Southsea Nomads.

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