Knight calling for Havant to be road warriors in early weeks of season

Havant have work to do on the road early in the season
Havant have work to do on the road early in the season

Havant are gearing themselves up for their toughest-ever start to a London one south campaign.

The brand new artificial pitch being installed at Hooks Lane won't be available until October so Havant are forced to play all their opening games away from home.

On top of that their opening game is against Medway who pipped them to the play-off place last season.

Coach Will Knight accepts the club face a challenge in the opening two months of the season but they will keep their minds on the task ahead.

He said: ‘We know we are going to be spending a lot of time on the road.

‘Then after Christmas we will have a long run of home games so it is quite bizarre all round.

‘Hooks Lane will be quite an arena when the work is complete.

‘We will have the best facilities in the county.

‘There is a lot of rugby to be played however before we can get on our new pitch.

‘We must try to pick up where we left off at the end of last season.

‘The challenge is to go out and perform right from the start.

‘It won't be easy because Medway are a quality outfit.

‘Though the majority of our squad consists of familiar faces we do have a few new players.’

The important thing for the Hooks Lane side is they keep their focus to ensure they give their best performances on the field while their home ground is being sorted out.

Havant have strengthened their coaching team with the addition of experienced pair Rob Packer and Ivan Torpey.

James Wise who has been away at university returns on the left wing.

Portsmouth play their annual Hope Charity match against Portsmouth Hospitals at Rugby Camp (1pm).

Gosport & Fareham open their season with a Hampshire Bowl tie against Fordingbridge at Gosport Park (3pm).

United Services Portsmouth are also in Bowl action as they make the trip to Trojans.

In the Hampshire Plate Locksheath Pumas travel to Overton and Southsea Nomads visit Ellingham & Ringwood.

Don’t miss The News on Mondays throughout the season for rugby reports.