Win can be a big step in the right direction for Havant

Darren Bamford
Darren Bamford
Dylan Raubenheimer. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

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Havant are looking to get back to winning ways as they host London one south basement-side Charlton Park at Hooks Lane (2.30pm).

Defeat at Guildford in their previous outing was tough to take for coach Will Knight after his side had got themselves into a good position.

The team need to respond well but know they must show enough respect to their rivals.

‘I certainly want us to come away with the spoils from this game,’ said Knight.

‘We will start as favourites. At the same time we know that in our league all the teams are capable of turning each other over.

‘It is vital we respect the opposition. The game at Guildford was very frustrating because we felt we were as good if not better than them.

‘They are now top of the league.

‘I feel we are a much better side than the league table suggests.

‘It is all down to acquiring the greater consistency needed to be challenging at the top which is where we want to be.’

Havant are forced to make a number of changes because of injuries and unavailability.

In the forwards, Joe Davis, Gav Hart and Luke Marks are unavailable because of work commitments and Harrison Young is injured.

Tim Miller, who has been pushing for a first team spot since last season, is drafted in at number six.

Nial Copeland returns in the second row and Justin Lewis replaces Marks in the front row.

In the three-quarters there is a notable returnee in the presence of Darren Bamford, who starts on the replacements bench.

Bamford has been in impressive form playing for the Royal Navy in the International Defence Rugby competition, played alongside the Rugby World Cup.

The powerful centre equalled a Royal Navy record when he scored five tries in the 116-0 win over Canada Armed Forces.

The Navy went on to win the plate final with a 32-7 victory over Georgia.

Knight believes Bamford can have a big impact in the coming months.

‘Darren has had an outstanding inter-defence competition and is clearly in form,’ said Knight.

‘He is now shore-based locally with the Navy which means he should be available on a regular basis.

‘We will start him on the replacements bench but he is a quality player.

‘I am sure he will make a difference when we send him on as an impact player.

‘We are having to make a number of changes but the players coming in are all capable of cementing their places.

‘It is a chance for them to go out and prove a point.’

HAVANT: Ed Wilks, Scott Morris, Loz Blackburn, Joel Knight, Pat Gains, Dave Sweeney, Jake Hewitt, Justin Lewis, Jerome Trail, Jake Biggs, Nial Copeland, Bruce Neil, Tim Miller, Steve Cruddas, Luke Barfoot. Replacements; Justin Powell, James Lindsey, Darren Bamford