Gosport & Fareham forced to reshuffle pack

Kieran McRoberts Picture: Roger Smith
Kieran McRoberts Picture: Roger Smith
Have your say

GOSPORT & Fareham are having to contend with a crippling injury crisis ahead of their London one south visit to Sidcup.

Head coach Neil McRoberts is without 15 members of his senior squad and admits they are down to the barebones.

‘Our injury list is up to double figures and other players are unavailable,’ said McRoberts.

‘It is frustrating to have to go to a place like Sidcup without our strongest line-up.

‘The situation is far from ideal and a great pity coming after we picked up our first win.

‘It will give opportunities for the players stepping up and allow them to stake their claim for a place in the side.

‘I have no doubt they will do themselves proud.’

Gosport & Fareham chalked up their first win by beating Chiswick 34-14 last weekend.

McRoberts, though, is forced to ring the changes.

Tom Blackburn has returned from his honeymoon, only to get called up into the Royal Navy squad.

Ben Lanigan has served his one-match ban but is unavailable.

Wayne Dugan, Kieran McRoberts, Caleb Kingi and Tim Snowden are all injured, while Sam Foster has police duties.

‘Despite the changes, we have to try to build on our first win,’ said McRoberts.

‘We need to go out and execute the game plan and focus from the start.

‘Against Chiswick, I felt it was the first time this season we have got ourselves up properly for a game.’

Fareham Heathens return to action with a derby against Petersfield at Cams Alders.

Heathens were without a game last weekend and are keen to make up for lost time.

‘We know that we need a win to kick-start our season,’ said Heathens coach Bernie Rhodes.

‘Last season we did the double over them in the league and must look to do the same again.’

The home side have Rob Impey returning in the centre following a long spell out with a knee injury.

Wing-forward Mike West makes his debut, while loose-head prop Chris Webb is in for his first start of the campaign.

Locks Heath Pumas travel to Sandown & Shanklin.