Hartpury have named a blend of youth and experience in their 23-man squad for tomorrow’s opening day visit to Doncaster Knights in the Championship Cup competition.
Centre Joe Margetts, outside half Nathan Chamberlain, hooker Will Crane, lock forward Tom Everard and flanker Max Clementson all start tomorrow and all five were involved in last season’s successful university side.
Joining them in the squad is another current university player, Angus Southon, as well as Josh Bragman – who recently signed for the club after graduating from the University of Northumbria – and on-loan Ealing youngster, George Simpson, who actually played for Cardiff Met, against Hartpury, in the 2018 BUCS Super Rugby final at Twickenham.
Back-up loose-head, Kai Owen, on dual-registration from Worcester Warriors, is another developing young player and was a member of the England U20 squad that went to this year’s Rugby World Championship in Argentina.
Nearer the other end of the experience scale, the Red & Blacks will have two former Gloucester Rugby men – prop forward Dan Murphy and Fijian international Akapusi Qera – in the starting fifteen.
Luke Eves, once of Bristol and Newcastle Falcons, will bring stability in midfield.
Murphy will start as skipper, while club captain Luke Carter is named on the bench.
In the forwards, Ashley Challenger, Tom Jubb and Seb Nagle-Taylor will all make their competitive debuts for the club.
Sam Goatley, after an impressive pre-season outing against the Ospreys, also gets his Cup debut on the left wing.
The side are expecting a very tough challenge, against a Knights side which looks to have strengthened over the summer.
The match kicks off at 2.30pm.