Fresh faces to the fore as Hartpury name squad for Nottingham Rugby

Hartpury have made several changes – some enforced, some rotational – to their match-day 22 ahead of this Friday’s clash with Nottingham Rugby at Lady Bay (7.45pm, Friday 29 September).

Both wingers are making their league debuts for the club.  Ed Sheldon, leading try-scorer for Birmingham Moseley last season and second highest in National One after Hartpury’s own Jonas Mikalcius, finally gets into action after missing the first four weeks with a damaged hamstring.

He collected the injury very late against Gloucester Rugby, at the end of a pre-season campaign in which he had scored in all three of Hartpury’s fixtures, two of them against Premiership opponents.

Also starting for the first time will be Alex Ducker, a close season signing from Redruth, who Hartpury are hoping will worry the Nottingham defence with his express pace.

Two players miss out through injury.  Hooker Luke Stratford – who picked up two tries last time out – took a blow to the head against Carnegie and is replaced by England Under-20 international Henry Walker, making his competitive club debut on dual registration from Gloucester.

Another Kingsholm man, lock Alex Craig, is out with a knee injury, although Hartpury have a tailor-made replacement in fit-again BJ Edwards.

There are three fresh faces among the replacements, two of them props.  Former Ireland Under-20 loose-head, Des Merrey, is joined by Alex Gibson, who made his league debut for Hartpury in National One last season.  Both players are previous BUCS winners in Hartpury’s university first XV and still study here.

Scrum half (and occasional winger) Charlie Chapman, another player to impress in pre-season, is the third new name on the bench.

The other changes largely suggest rotation.  Jacob Perry is back in the 15, after his last minute penalty salvaged the draw against Yorkshire Carnegie, while Darrel Dyer starts at Number 8.  The full squad is:

  1. Dan Murphy
  2. Henry Walker
  3. Rupert Harden
  4. BJ Edwards
  5. Rhys Oakley
  6. Rob Langley
  7. Mat Gilbert
  8. Darrel Dyer
  9. Harry Randall
  10. Jacob Perry
  11. Alex Ducker
  12. Luke Eves
  13. George Boulton
  14. Ed Sheldon
  15. Mike Wilcox
  16. Will Crane
  17. Des Merrey
  18. Alex Gibson
  19. Joe Quinn
  20. Iain Grieve
  21. Charlie Chapman
  22. James Williams

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