Duo central to Gosport’s plans

Sam Foster
Sam Foster
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Gosport & Fareham are hoping to have their regular centre partnership back for their London one south trip to Medway.

Sam Foster is available again and there is a chance Wayne Dugan has recovered from his broken hand.

Coach Neil McRoberts believes their return can make a difference to his side’s fortunes.

‘I am hoping they can resume their long-standing centre partnership,’ said McRoberts.

‘With Alex Duncombe at outside-half, and when we get Kieran McRoberts fit again, it will give us a very solid midfield unit.

‘Wayne has been a big miss for us and to lose him so early in the campaign was a blow.

‘He would be a big miss to any team at our level because he could easily be playing two levels higher.

‘We are just pleased that he and his brother Wes decided to stay with the club.’

McRoberts is also boosted by the return of Royal Navy prop Tom Blackburn to play alongside Ben Lanigan, who was outstanding in the win over Dover.

The visitors, however, have to do without number eight Chris Thompson and their two navy under-23 players – Ben Roberts and Rory Penfold.

‘After beating Dover we are looking to get something from this game,’ added McRoberts.

‘It is a long journey so we have to make sure we stay focused.’

In-form Fareham Heathens journey to Ellingham & Ringwood in Hampshire One.

Heathens have not lost since the opening day of the season and coach Bernie Rhodes is happy with the progress being made.

‘We are looking much more cohesive as a team,’ said Rhodes.

‘Our structure and decision making are a lot better.

‘The way we played against the elements in the second half against Sandown & Shanklin was commendable.

‘Our club is buzzing at the moment and last week we fielded three teams for the first time in 10 years.

‘We still have a number of players to return from injury so we should be in with a shout of a top-three finish.

‘Ellingham came down into our league so we know they have good credentials and it won’t be an easy game.’

Locks Heath Pumas face a difficult test against powerful Millbrook at Brookfield School.