Whilst it is too early to be talking about ‘must win’ games, there is no doubt that both teams will be very keen to walk away with the points when Hartpury travel to London Scottish in the Greene King IPA Championship tomorrow evening.
The first squad of 2019 shows a number of changes from the side that played against the other “exiles”, London Irish, last time out.
Steve Leonard picked up a foot injury late in that game and will not feature tomorrow, while Tom Seabrook is one of a number of squad members away with England U20.
Changes in the back division mean that Ben Foley will start at full-back, with Jake Henry and Robbie Smith – the latter stepping up from the University Super Rugby team and making his first Championship start – on the wings. Leonard is replaced by Jamie Forrester, who has played in both of Hartpury’s previous league wins this season.
It is all change at half back. Charlie Chapman should provide some extra zip from the base while the kicking game of Luke Cozens sees him preferred ahead of Sam Leeming, who will join Richard Bolt on the bench.
The pack has a largely familiar look. James Stephenson starts at seven as part of a rugged-looking back row while Ben Kelland is another making his first Championship start, alongside skipper Simon Linsell in the second row. Injury absentee, prop Alex Gibson, makes a welcome return among the replacements.
The game, at the Richmond Athletic Ground, kicks off at 7.45pm.