Final place is up for grabs - but London One South title push taking priority for Havant

Havant take a break from league action when they welcome Jersey Reds Athletic in the semi-final of the Hampshire Challenge Cup at Hooks Lane.

Thursday, 6th February 2020, 5:44 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th February 2020, 6:31 pm
Will Owen will move into the back row for Havant. Picture: Vernon Nash (141219-008)

Senior coach Will Knight views it as a great opportunity to have a look at a range of players in his squad.

Knight accepts the main priority for the club is their bid to win the London One South title.

They are currently top, three points ahead of nearest challengers Westcombe Park.

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With vital games coming up, Knight will be unwilling to take any risks with key players.

At the same time, he believes they are fielding a very competitive side.

‘We have great strength in depth across our senior teams,’ said Knight.

‘Although we are making a number of changes, many of the players have featured in our first-team this season.

‘It gives us the opportunity to rest some of our players carrying knocks.

‘In the past, we have lost players to injury in cup games and we want to make sure that doesn't happen again.

‘The competition is still important to us and we have always been great supporters of the county cup.

‘We do feel it needs some sort of review moving forwards.’

In the forwards, Will Owen, a regular in the second row, moves into the back row.

He is alongside Henry Young, who is back at Hooks Lane after spells at United Services and Brighton.

Ex-Portsmouth player Simon Morgan starts at outside half, partnering Wes Dugan at scrum half.

A number of players who have been doing well in the second team get their chance in the three quarters.

Cam Smith is at inside centre with Lloyd Sampson on the wing.

Other players stepping up in the replacements include Lewis Woollacombe, Sam Cutting, Joe Nolan and Sam Walker.

‘We are defending our unbeaten home record so it means something to us,’ added Knight.

‘The team we put out will give everything to the cause.

‘In our eyes, it is another big Saturday afternoon of rugby.

‘The league, though, is our core business and we have got ourselves into an excellent position.’