Josh Fenner (pictured) makes his full debut for Hartpury University against Bedford Blues this weekend, after an encouraging 15-minute cameo in last Saturday’s big win at London Scottish.
The big back row forward joined Hartpury as a free agent recently and adds to an area where the Red & Blacks have already developed good strength-in-depth for this season. He has done enough, both in training and in the Scottish match, for Head Coach Mark Cornwell to entrust him with a starting slot this Saturday.
“Considering that he joined us fairly recently, he’s settled in well and he’s doing a lot of good things,” said Cornwell. “He’s a big man and brings plenty of physicality. Some of the work that he did in his spell on Saturday, I was very impressed with.”
His emergence is opportune, with Oli Robinson still a week or two away from a full return and the impressive Nahum Merigan required by his parent club, Bath, this weekend.
Elsewhere in the 23, James Dun – a DR from the Bristol Bears – pulls on a Hartpury shirt for the first time in three years, having made his club debut in a narrow defeat (25-32) to Ealing Trailfinders at the Alpas in October 2018.
Co-captain JB Bruzulier is ready to resume duties at scrum-half and with Deago Bailey back on the wing after a week off, the backs have a strong look about them. Jack Tovey, who enjoyed himself in the final 15 minutes at the RAG last week, continues his return to play from the bench.
In the forwards, Ciaran Knight is back after missing the Scottish game, whilst Aled Ward gets his first start since damaging a shoulder against Pirates in Week 2. England U20 loose-head, Lewis Holsey, will make his first Hartpury appearance of the season as a replacement, after impressing in the latter weeks of 2020-21.
Jack Stanley continues to provide cover at tight-head, as part of a strong bench, which also features flanker Xavier Hastings, who has played just the opening 20 minutes of the season due to an injury at Ealing. Kick-off at the Alpas Arena is at 2.30pm, with clubhouse facilities opening from 12noon.