Sargent handed chance to make splash at Bath

Prop-forward Dan Sargent has been handed a two-week trial by Bath

Prop-forward Dan Sargent has been handed a two-week trial by Bath

Tom Blackburn helps Havant to put the pressure on CS Rugby 1663 at Hooks Lane Picture: Keith Woodland

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Portsmouth’s try-scoring prop-forward Dan Sargent has earned himself a two-week trial with Aviva Premiership side Bath.

He misses the Rugby Camp club’s London two south west derby at Tottonians in his bid to make the breakthrough into the game’s professional ranks.

Twenty-two year old Sargent has proved a revelation since returning from a spell playing rugby in New Zealand and has chalked up a remarkable 25 tries this season.

‘Sarge is having a terrific season and is one of our most improved players,’ said coach Ian Chandler.

‘His time in New Zealand, organised through our club, has made a big difference.

‘He is starting to realise his real potential and what he can achieve.

‘This is a big opportunity for him as a player and it’s every coach’s ideal to see players progress and be part of their development.’

Sam Cutting is drafted in for Sargent as Portsmouth are forced to make a number of changes from their Hampshire Cup-winning side.

Outside-half Dan Neville is also unavailable so Andy Barnes moves into that position, with Dan Gates coming into the centre.

Sandy Duffus takes the place of Curtis Barnes at full-back and Darren Crabb is welcomed back from injury in the forwards.

Scrum-half Titch O’Connor plays his final game before departing for Australia due to work commitments.

Portsmouth were thrilled by their 16-6 cup final win over Gosport & Fareham which saw them crowned county champions for the first time in their history.

Chandler insists, though, that his players still have work to do between now and the end of the season.

‘Our season didn’t end last weekend,’ said Chandler.

‘It is important that we still have ambition and a will to win our last three games.

‘As a club we are looking to attract new players and it is your final league position that helps you do that.

‘We can’t afford to accept where we are in the league and want to try and achieve a top three or four finish.

‘To do that we still have to win games.’

Portsmouth: Duffus, Gee, Chandler, Gates, Fookes, A Barnes, O’Connor, Giquel, Farmer, Long, D Crabb, Richardson, Hoolihan, Hankey, Cutting, K French, Redding, Burgess-Kelly.

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