Portsmouth unleashed on road to Twickenham
Portsmouth are back on the road to Twickenham as they host Old Colfeians in the RFU Intermediate Cup at Rugby Camp tomorrow.
A place in the regional semi-finals is up for grabs and assistant coach Jim Pearce insists it is a nice distraction from the pressures of London two south west action.
He said: ‘We have picked up a bit of momentum since Christmas.
‘Although we are not out of the woods yet it has given us a 12-point cushion on the teams below us.
‘It means we can head into the cup game with a lot of the pressure taken off.
‘All we know about our opponents is they are second in our equivalent league in the south east.
‘We feel as a squad we are equipped to continue our improvement.
‘There is now a greater strength in depth.
‘After watching the video of our win at Effingham, we have highlighted some areas to improve upon.
‘Tightening up our defence is one of those.
‘When we put our game together, though, we have a good platform and a dangerous set of backs.
‘We want the players to go out, enjoy the game and express themselves.’
Second-row Rob Gicquel faces a fitness test, while Luke Richardson and James Kelly are available again.
Jack Easterbrook, who made an impressive debut at number eight last week, may move into the second row.
Alex Duffs returns to scrum-half, with Simon Morgan switching to join Andy Barnes in the centre.
Stuart Davis will move to full-back and Matt Farnes retains his place at outside-half.
Locks Heath Pumas will enjoy their break from first-team action this weekend, as they celebrate 19 years as a junior club.
Director of rugby Alan Palmer said: ‘We are unique in that it has a nomadic existence, training, playing and socialising at different locations.
‘We are progressing every year and our goal is to find a suitable piece of land to develop our own clubhouse and ground.
‘Our aim is to bring rugby to the community and the community to rugby.’