Portsmouth head to Dover as veterans lock horns

Portsmouth's Harry Hodell is being rested ahead of Hampshire's under-20s clash with the Army on Sunday
Portsmouth's Harry Hodell is being rested ahead of Hampshire's under-20s clash with the Army on Sunday
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Tom Whitehouse. Picture: Neil Marshall (171730-81)

Pearce fires warning to triumphant Portsmouth

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Veterans take centre stage at Rugby Camp tomorrow as Portsmouth Vets look to topple holders Havant Mariners in the Hampshire Vets Cup final (2.15pm).

‘Our starting line-up has a combined age of 620 years,’ boasted Portsmouth captain Dave Harris.

‘The two teams have been old rivals on and off for more than 25 years and we play old- fashioned rugby to enjoy it.

‘We are confident we can beat the Mariners and regain the cup, though.’

Portsmouth Vets: Harris, Lane, Martin, Wilson, Corfield, Bunker, Ross, Pearce, Caspall, Whitcher, Farrington, Styles, Gronow, Mallinder, Ladd, Jones, Lamb, Hodges, Woolmer, Godkin, Garrett, Mitchell.

Havant Mariners: Lynch, Davey, Woolhead, Mangnall, Ransome, Boydell, Lewis, Santy, Jones, Walsh, Hughes, Rogers, Kingham-Scott, Middleton, Cuff, Matthews, Walsh, Whittle, Marsh, MacLean, Barfoot, Harrison, Tall.

n Portsmouth are forced to take a depleted side to Dover in London League south division one. The whole front-row is ruled out by injury and Nick Lynch, Matt Peters and Harry Hodell are rested ahead of their Hampshire under-20s game on Sunday.

Portsmouth are strengthened by new signing John Nicholls. The hooker has moved into the area from Durham.

University prop James Baber makes his debut.

Portsmouth: Whitley, Gates, Ealey, Cartmill, Carpenter, Graham, Young, Sargent, Hoolihan, French, Goldsmith, McKechnie, Baber, Long, Crabb J, Nichols.

n In Hampshire League division one, United Services are geared up for their top-of- the-table clash at Eastleigh.

‘We go into the game on the back of two wins and, though we start as underdogs, we feel we are in with a chance of winning,’ said Services coach Neil McRoberts.

‘We lost to them at home earlier in the season but if we had taken our chances it was a game we could have won. Our confidence is growing.’

Services give a debut to wing-forward Alexander Thompson, who has Scottish division two experience with Kirkcaldy.

United Services: Cantwell, Gee, Willoughby, Wagstaffe, Brawn, Webster, Davis, Cheeseman, Thompson, Jones. Little, Bell, Holmes, Guyll, Haslam, Cole, Blackett, Rea.