Saturday, 28 November 2020

Comben returns at fullback for Bury St Edmunds clash

HENLEY HAWKS will be aiming to find form tomorrow (Saturday) when they entertain Bury St Edmunds

HENLEY HAWKS will be aiming to find form tomorrow (Saturday) when they entertain Bury St Edmunds at Dry Leas (kick-off 3pm).

This season the Hawks have found it difficult to find cohesion following relegation from Division 1, as shown in last week’s unexpected 36-14 defeat at Barnes.

The Hawks have recruited on a different basis this season by not having dual contracts with premium clubs London Irish and Wasps in the hope that they could field more consistent teams. Recruiting players with experience of lower leagues has meant the task of playing in such a competitive league as Division 2 South is turning out to be difficult.

The team selected to play Bury St Edmunds shows two changes amongst the backs. They are at fullback where James Comben, not available last week, takes over from Alan Awcock who has work demands, and on the wing where Simon Perry, on the bench last week, replaces the absent Xavier Andre.

The cover for the backs is Tom Parton, in essence a fly-half who is the one dual registered player being on London Irish books. Parton played for the Bulls last week after suffering a hamstring injury and has been capped by England at U20 level this summer. The major changes are amongst the forwards although the front row will be the same that started against Barnes last week. Dave Clements resumes as captain and will be partnered at lock by Jake Albon who was at number eight against Barnes and an experienced player in that position. The major changes are in the back row. David Hyde plays at number eight where his physical build and pace will form a strong partnership with flankers Tom Hall and the highly rated Connor Morrison who has not been available because of work commitments.

Bury St Edmunds were promoted to Division 2 South last season and are now playing at the highest level in their 90-year history. They are the first Suffolk club to play at this level. Having finished sixth last season, this campaign they have won three games out of five played with all their victories being at home.

The Henley Hawks squad is as follows: 15 James Comben, 14 Simon Perry, 13 Tom Gardner, 12 Connor Howhay, 11 Simon Perry, 10 Joe Butler, 9 George Jackson, 1 Ziana Montout-Alexis, 3 Barnaby Abdale-Weir, 4 Dave Clements, 5 Jake Albon, 6 Tom Hall, 7 Connor Morrison, 8 David Hyde. Replacements: 16 Brad Cook, 17 Tom Emery, 18 Idwal Davies, 19 Scott White, 20 Tom Parton.

Elsewhere tomorrow Henley Bulls entertain Bury St Edmunds 2nds while Henley Vikings entertain Buckingham 2nds. Henley Bears are without a fixture.

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