Fareham Heathens in 'high spirits' ahead of New Milton visit

Fareham Heathens welcome New Milton to Cams Alders in the Hampshire Premiership.

Thursday, 5th December 2019, 3:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th December 2019, 4:56 pm
Fareham Heathens are in 'high spirits'. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (130419-9)

The Heathens lifted the mood in the camp with a great 17-14 success at Bognor last time out in the league on November 23.

And senior coach Dave Wheaton is keen for his players to feed off that success.

‘After our much-deserved win at Bognor and a victory last weekend in a mixed-squad friendly at Romsey, the lads are in high spirits,’ he said.

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‘It’s amazing what a couple of victories can do for the soul.

‘Training sessions have been very well represented and player availability has vastly improved since the return of long-term injuries and overseas deployments.

‘We now find ourselves with strong competition for places, which becomes a selection headache but is a good place to be in.

‘New Milton’s earlier season league defeats have reflected a struggle in form, but recently they have picked up some good results and this will be a tough encounter for us.

'We have concentrated on improving our support play because we cannot afford to lose ball in the tackle or ruck area.

‘Turnover ball has cost us many times in previous encounters with New Milton.’

Tom Macpherson joins the pack at open-side and Jon Corner, who was impressive in the win at Bognor, returns at number eight.

Rich Green (tighthead), Charles Chipperfield (hooker) and Louis Cadden (loose head) make up a very strong front row.

Recent signing Nathan Greenhalgh starts at blindside forward while Wheaton and James Gardner complete the pack.

‘This is one of our biggest packs available and we are hoping to dominate all set piece play,’ said Wheaton.

The three-quarters comprise of Dan Lee and Joe O’Loghlen at half-back with Cam Guthrie and Connor Moore in the centre.

John Cole and Will Dalziel feature on the wings, with Jashan Solanki at full-back.

‘If we maintain our structure, keep to the game plan and play as we did at Bognor playing as a team I’m confident of a win,’ said Wheaton.

Promotion-chasing Petersfield face Bognor at Penns Place.

Locksheath Pumas entertain Romsey in Hampshire One.