Fareham Heathens RFC face ‘must win’ game if they want to avoid Hampshire Premier relegation

James Gardner''Picture: Keith Woodland
James Gardner''Picture: Keith Woodland
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Fareham Heathens are hoping to turn the corner as they travel to Ellingham and Ringwood in the Hampshire Premier.

Senior coach Dave Wheaton believes it is now or never for his side, saying: ‘This is a must win game if we are to stand any chance of staying in this league.

'Our recent results have been disappointing, but I know the lads have been trying their best. 

'Injuries and availability have denied us the continuity we need to be competitive. 

This week we have opted for a big pack to face Ellingham.

'Set piece work in our lineout and scrums has suffered recently and we need to make this work again.'

Heathens welcome Louis Cadden back at hooker and he is supported either side by Jacob Bailey and Simon Aldridge.

Wheaton and James Gardner provide the power in the engine room with James Whitefield, Rikky Curtis and Harry King making up the back row.

In the backs Rob Impey makes a welcome return in the centre, and Will Dalziel starts at full-back after impressing in training.

'I'm expecting our pack to dominate and take control of set pieces,' said Wheaton.

'We have great finishers in the backs, but only if the forwards can create quick clean ball.'

Locksheath Pumas resume their Hampshire One campaign with a trip to Ventnor. 

Head Coach Liam Moggeridge said: ‘Whilst the results have not gone our way in the opening matches, the performances shown are encouraging. 

'We are now looking to pick up another win on a tough trip.'

Olly Eggins returns in the back row and Rob Hylands starts at prop. 

Stu Miller comes in at full back after injury and Joe Bennetts makes his return from the bench.

Petersfield will need to be at their best as they cross the Solent to face Hampshire Premier promotion rivals Sandown & Shanklin.

The second placed Hurricanes are unbeaten and six points ahead of their third-placed visitors.

In London Three South West, United Services Portsmouth and Gosport & Fareham face a relegation battle at Burnaby Road.