Heathens up for Petersfield test - 'even though we’e underdogs’

Fareham Heathens play host to rampant Petersfield in the Hampshire Premiership.

By Kevin Ricketts
Friday, 27th September 2019, 12:55 pm
Havant's women rugby players during a team-building kayaking trip
Havant's women rugby players during a team-building kayaking trip

The visitors are unbeaten and scored over a hundred points in their last game.

Home coach Dave Wheaton has problems, admitting: ‘Our growing list of injuries coupled with poor availability means a much-changed line up.

'We have more players unavailable than available, but that's amateur rugby for you.

'In training we have concentrated on support play and ball retention.

'We are all up for this one, even if we are the underdogs.'

Louis Cadden moves into hooker, and Harrison Fokinther returns at loosehead.

Harry King moves from the pack to inside centre, with Rikky Curtis at 13.

This in turn gives an opportunity for T J Morris who has impressed whilst playing for the 2nds to start at number eight.

Wheaton returns in the second row alongside James Gardner.

Elliott Johnstone is back at blindside and James Whitefield moves to openside.

Havant Ladies take on South West Championship Two side Ellingham & Ringwood in the first round of the Intermediate Cup competition this Sunday at Hooks Lane (2.45pm)

The home side have made a great start in the league, beating Guernsey 34-25 and Southampton 40-12.

Senior coach Dean Dryhurst is hoping they can continue their positive opening .

'This game will be a real challenge but the work and structure that has already been put in place will bode well,' said Dryhurst

'The squad have also been working hard off the field with a team-building event of kayaking which saw the ladies take on a water rugby challenge.

'Following our last game they organised a Yoga session to relax and stretch out their bodies after a physical game against Southampton.

'Sunday will see us wearing our new shirts which forms part of the sponsorship package from Nuffield Health. We are delighted to be working with them over the next three years.'

Portsmouth Valkyries travel to Southampton on Sunday in the RFU Intermediate Cup (2pm).

Both sides are newly promoted and Valkyries head coach Mark Witcher says: ‘We always look forward to playing Southampton and expect a tough match. 

'We are missing a few girls from our two opening league games but that gives opportunities for other players who have been training hard to show the coaching team what they can do.’

Scrum half Charlie Morgan returns to the Valkyries squad to bolster an already strong set of half backs.