Henley Hawks play their first match against newly promoted Wimbledon this Saturday (kick-off 3pm) in the last of the opening fixtures of the season against the four newly promoted sides. Although the Bulls played a Thames Valley Merit Table match against Wimbledon 1st XV there in 2000 winning 56-14, a result not likely to be repeated as the Dons lost a close game away at Clifton last week. They gained a bonus point (their second of the season) in losing 25-20.
Wimbledon have had a difficult start to the season having yet to record a victory but they showed in the game away at Clifton that the Hawks will have to be on their mettle against a resilient side. The Hawks had a difficult match in defeating Barnstaple at Dry Leas last Saturday who ran them close in the last quarter.
The Hawks forwards, particularly the front row, were in good form even with out their stalwart loose head prop Dave Manning. He will not be available for the next four months for he has just commenced an overseas assignment. Fortunately the Hawks have signed, on loan from Worcester Warriors, a replacement, Jo Morris. He is a member of the triumphant England under 20’s winners of the International Grand Slam 2017. The Oxford Blue will be with the Hawks for the remainder of this season.
The only change from the team that defeated Barnstaple is in the centre where Alan Awcock, returns after two weeks absence in place of Will James.
Henley Hawks v Wimbledon
1.Brad Cook, 2.Tom Emery, 3.George Premett, 4.Dave Clements, 5.Jake Albon(capt.), 6.Dave Hyde, 7.Rob Bell, 8.Marcus Lowe, 9.George Jackon, 10.Joe Butler, 11.Sam Portland, 12.Simon Perry, 13.Alan Awcock, 14.Xavier Andre, 15.Liam O’Neill
16.Jo Morris, 17.John Wunder, 18.Matthew Tibbatts, 19.Will James, 20.Scott White
Henley Bulls v Wimbldon (away)
1.Ian Stock, 2.Matt Hodson, 3.Jim Hadfield, 4.Jake O’Leary, 5.Callum Large, 6.Will Day, 7.Rhys Courtenay, 8.Nick Harris, 9.Connor Murphy, 10.Dan Hawkins, 11.Harry Burn, 12.Adam Lubbock, 13.Tom Gardner, 14.Idwal Macrae, 15.Jack Robinson
16.Archie Van Dyke, 17.Luca Townsend, 18.James Owen, 19.Callum Cook, 20.Dan Foley