Henley Hawks disappointedly lost their recent winning sequence in losing to Redruth 22-42 at home last Saturday. They are faced with a difficult game this week when they travel to Taunton who are top of the league, undefeated in their nine games to date.
In recent seasons, the Hawks have done well at Hyde Park but last season they lost 38-27 and indeed the Somerset outfit did the double over them also winning a very close game at the end of the season 25 -24 at Dry Leas.
Taunton have started the season in such good form having not lost a game and been able to field a side each week showing few changes in personnel .Their full back Gary Kingdom, formerly with Exeter Chiefs has made an important contribution to this run of victories with reliable place kicking which has contributed 120 points of the 386 they have scored.
The Hawks will be able to field a pack which has contributed well to their recent run of victories and welcome Rob Bell, who was absent last week, at No. 7. The only other change amongst the forwards is at hooker where John Wunder takes over from Tom Emery who reverts to the replacements. Wunder is an experienced front row player having been a prop also for his previous club Northern Suburbs in Sydney, New South Wales
Unfortunately, the Hawks will be without two of their most experienced backs for this game. Centre Alan Awcock , the former London Welsh player, is not available because of work commitments and wing Sam Portland is injured. Will Janes who has started four games to date, comes into the centre and Jack Robinson, who also has played four games before suffering injury, will take Portland’s place.
The Hawks are able to field a strong bench including recent signings Ian Stock (prop), and Mathew Tibbatts (back row).
Taunton Titans vs Henley Hawks (kick-off 3 pm)
1. Brad Cook, 2. John Wunder, 3. Joe Morris, 4. Dave Clements, 5. Jake Albon (capt.), 6. David Hyde, 7. Rob Bell, 8. Marcus Lowe, 9. George Jackson, 10. Joe Butler, 11. Xavier Andre, 12. Simon Perry, 13. Will Janes, 14. Jack Robinson, 15. Liam O’Neill,
16. Harry Burn, 17. Tom Emery, 18. Ian Stock, 19. Matthew Tibbatts/Scott White, 20. Tommy Haynes