Knight: Havant will be ready for Hart’s tricks

Jerome Trail is back for Havant. Picture: Neil Marshall
Jerome Trail is back for Havant. Picture: Neil Marshall
Joel Knight. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

FULL GALLERY: Hampshire make solid start on the road to Twickenham

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Havant return to London one south action following a two-week absence with a tasty derby clash at Tottonians tomorrow (3pm).

The visitors have never won in the league at the Water Lane outfit, who are coached by ex-Hooks Lane stalwart Gav Hart.

Havant head coach Will Knight knows sentiment will go out of the window as Hart plots the downfall of his former team-mates.

The Hooks Lane chief believes his Tottonians counterpart will look to use his inside knowledge to engineer a victory.

‘Gav was one of our best players in recent years and will have Tottonians playing an exciting brand of rugby,’ said Knight.

‘He has good inside knowledge of our players and we expect him to have a few tricks up his sleeve.

‘It is up to us to come up with a few new tricks of our own.

‘We have never won at Tottonians, so it is another challenge and target for us to put to bed.

‘Being a derby gives the game an extra bit of spice and these are the sort of games players relish.

‘A lot of the players know each other through playing in the Hampshire team together.

‘Tottonians are a great club and it is always a pleasure to play against – but we will be focused on beating them.’

Knight is boosted by the return of Jerome Trail, who makes his maiden appearance of the season.

The powerful hooker left the club at the end of last season to spend the summer playing in Australia.

Trail began this season pin Spain, but he has returned to Hooks Lane after things didn’t work out for him.

His inclusion will add to the physicality of the forwards and give Havant another ball-carrying option.

Knight said: ‘It fitted well this week for Jerome to come straight back in.

‘He knows, however, that he has returned to a very competitive squad and will have to work hard to keep his place.’

The visitors also make a number of other changes to their line-up.

Tom Blackburn returns to the front row – where Armundus Morgan also makes his first start this term.

Steve Cruddas is unavailable in the back row but is replaced by Joe Davis.

Elliott Bellman moves from hooker into the back row.

Havant have had a fortnight’s break after Gosport & Fareham pulled out of their Hampshire Cup game last weekend.

Knight is hoping his side can carry on where they left off after a defeat of Sevenoaks in their last league game.

‘I thought the win against Sevenoaks was our best and certainly most complete performance from us so far this season,’ he added.

‘At Tottonians, we will need to replicate this and add some more to get the win we want – it is the start of a tough run of games for us.’