Hartpury have named a youthful 22 for tomorrow’s trip to Ballymena RFC, where they face a return fixture with last week’s opponents, Ulster A (2.30pm).
Having lost all three of their British & Irish Cup matches to date gives Director of Rugby, John Barnes, the freedom to make some changes in the squad and a number of players who have recently performed well in student rugby are brought in. The group contains 17 players who are either current students or recent graduates of Hartpury.
Competitive Hartpury RFC debuts are handed to Tom Everard and Max Clementson in the starting back row, whilst Tom Pashley and Ewan Fenley should both see some action off the bench. Fenley, son of former Gloucester scrum-half Bruce Fenley, is the current skipper of Hartpury’s highly successful under-18 group and Pashley leads the university side in BUCS Super Rugby.
In the three-quarters, Maliq Holden, Jamie Forrester and Elias Caven also step up from the university team, which has been in decent form recently.
The ‘Daddy’ of the side is lock forward Joe Quinn, who takes over as skipper tomorrow. Further experience is available in the form of ex-Worcester Warriors prop, Mike Daniels, whose return from injury is both timely and welcome, given the importance of the fixtures over the next few weeks.
Ed Coulson, Alex Ducker, Harry Cochrane, Will Crane and Darrel Dyer are the only players retained in the fifteen from last week’s starting line-up.