Portsmouth are calling on ‘Mr Reliable’ Andy Young to solve their scrum-half crisis when they welcome London South One newcomers Trojans to Rugby Camp tomorrow (3pm).
Young is back in Portsmouth after taking a break from his cruise ship duties, and his return couldn’t have been timed better for the city club.
He will be the fifth different scrum-half used by the club this season because of injury, but coach Ian Chandler is delighted to have Young to fall back on.
‘You know exactly what you are going to get with Andy Young,’ said Chandler.
‘He is very solid and never lets you down.
‘Sometimes he’s like an extra forward because he is a rugged, strong little character.
‘He is a good organiser and will direct the forwards as well as get the ball away well to the backs.’
Portsmouth are looking for their first win at home in the league this season and will be disappointed if they don’t beat newly-promoted Trojans.
The Southampton-based side, like their hosts, have won just one of their opening five games but Chandler knows they will present his side with a physical challenge up front.
‘We will look to get at them early,’ said Chandler.
‘The aim will be to exploit the areas where we know we are better than them.’
Jason Crabbe returns to the pack to replace the injured Richie Farmer but forwards Graeme Butterworth (injured), Darren Crabbe (injured) and Will Brock (away) are out.
Winger Dan Gates plays his final game before setting off on his travels for a year.
Chandler has been laid up in bed all week taking a course of antibiotics for his tonsillitis but hopes to recover in time to take his place on the touchline.
A first home win of the season would provide him with the perfect tonic.
‘I won’t say it is a must-win game but it is an important one,’ said Chandler.
‘We must look to put a string of wins together, particularly after last week’s disappointing result at Hove.’
Portsmouth: Dufus, Fookes, Barnes, Richards, Gates, Neville, Young, Sergeant, Hoolihan, Cuming, Lynch, Richardson, Rushton, Crabbe, Long