WILL KNIGHT believes a change in thinking is needed if cup rugby within Hampshire is to survive for much longer.
Knight’s Havant defend their county title in the final of the Gales HSB Cup against Bournemouth at Hooks Lane tomorrow (1pm).
Havant have always been one of the biggest supporters of Hampshire rugby but Knight admits it is becoming increasingly difficult.
He said: ‘We have been big supporters of the Hampshire Cup and it is something we have always taken seriously.
‘Before the advent of league rugby it was important as a stepping stone into the National RFU Knock-Out competition.
‘It is becoming increasingly difficult though to prioritise the cup in a season of 26 league games.
‘I know there is a lot of thinking going on about how to keep the cup competition fresh.
‘There have been problems this season. We find ourselves in the final without having played in the previous rounds.
‘Our earlier games were cancelled for one reason or another.
‘Bournemouth have also only played one game to get to the final.
‘The challenge is to find the right place for the cup in the season.
‘If that doesn’t happen there is a danger that it could disappear altogether.’
Havant have one eye on their remaining three league games after the Easter period.
They are still in with a chance of making the play-offs and see that as their main focus.
Though committed to fielding a strong team in the final Knight is also concerned his team don’t pick up any injuries.
With that in mind the home side are likely to utilise some players from their successful Dolphins second team.
Many of the Dolphins have already had first team experience this season.
Knight added: ‘It is important we try to get through the weekend without any injuries.
‘In some ways this is a no pressure game for us and a bit of light relief from league rugby.
‘It is a chance to go out, play a bit of rugby and enjoy ourselves.
‘Hopefully it will be a good day for the club and Hampshire Rugby.’
London one south ambitions take priority.
‘We have to win all our remaining games to stay in with a chance,’ added Knight.
‘Even then we are relying on other results. nAll we can control is what is in our hands.
‘If we can still be in the mix on the final day of the season that will put the pressure on our rivals.’
Havant: Reynolds, Knight R, Knight J, Benjamin, Morris S, Bamford, Rudder, Morris G, May, McDonald, Blackburn T, Cruddas, Morgan, Ward-Golden, Powell, Trail, Young, Janes, Whitehead, Trehan, Davis, Mellor