After a good run of results in the Green King IPA Championship, Hartpury have made a number of changes for Friday night’s cup fixture at Newcastle Falcons (8pm, Kingston Park).
However, with the injury situation not biting too deep at present – only Tom Jubb, Iain Grieve and Rupert Harding are long-term absentees – Hartpury are still able to name a competitive group to tackle the league’s leading side.
Beck Cutting, after a couple of runs off the bench, will start at hooker, with Des Merrey and Mike Flook either side of him. The second row is unchanged, with Will Safe again on duty in a slightly unfamiliar role – Tom Jubb is thought to be close to a return, however.
There is a youthful back row, where Sam Graham moves to Number 8 and is joined by Aaron Hinkley and Max Clementson. Clementson will skipper the starting fifteen.
Tiff Eden gets his first Hartpury start of the season – after two good appearances off the bench in recent weeks – outside Harry Cochrane.
Dan Koster continues his return to full fitness in the centre, where he is joined by the powerful Joe Margetts. Margetts scored against Falcons in the reverse cup fixture, a few weeks ago.
Jacob Morris remains on the wing and there is start for Sam Goatley, who played his first rugby in recent weeks in the win over Yorkshire last time out. Mike Wilcox returns at full-back.
There is a strong bench, with club skipper Luke Carter, Seb Nagle-Taylor and Will Crane all likely to get at least some game-time week. Alex Seville is in line for his first appearance since the 2017-18 season and is joined by Ashley Challenger as the other front row replacement.
Jack Preece is the final forward named, while Charlie Powell and Jack Reeves – both recent England age-group internationals – represent some nice options in the backs.
The match will be preceded by a BUCS Super Rugby fixture between Northumbria and Hartpury, at 4pm. The Hartpury squad for that game will be released on social media, once finalised.