Following the narrowest of defeats away at Canterbury by one point last Saturday the Hawks return to Dry Leas (K.O. 3pm) to face traditional rivals Clifton for the first time this season.
This disappointing result broke the sequence of two victories over teams above them in the league, Taunton Titans and Bury St. Edmunds. In contrast Clifton are struggling in the lower regions winning only four of their eleven games to date. Yet they are the only team not to have lost to team leaders Chinnor having drawn their first game of the campaign at home to them. They were leading until the final minute of this game but then conceded a try to level the scores.
The Hawks will do well not to ignore the strength of the Clifton pack, which has been noted in several recent games.
They will, as at Canterbury, make changes in the front row with exception of try scorer Brad Cook. John Wunder takes over from Tom Emery at hooker and Joe Morris returns from duty with Worcester Warriors. The only other change in the pack is the promotion of erstwhile regular No.8 Marcus Lowe who takes over from Matthew Tibbatts.
The back division, which is showing increasing confidence, is unchanged! There is an interesting introduction to 1st XV rugby of young Iwan McCrae. He will provide cover at scrumhalf after good performances for the Bulls. Harry Burn who has filled this role is playing as a guest in the Dubai Sevens.
Henley Hawks vs Clifton
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.Sam Portland, 12.Simon Perry, 13.Liam O’Neill, 14.Xavier Andre, 15.Jack Robinson
16.George Primett, 17.Tom Emery, 18.Matthew Tibbatts, 19.Tommy Haynes, 20.Iwan McCrae