This Saturday Henley Hawks play their second preseason fixture with the visit of Rosslyn Park to Dry Leas. Kick off for the game is 3pm. The Wales v England international will also be shown in the clubhouse.
The Hawks had a good run out last week against London Irish Wild Geese and a with a number of last season’s squad unavailable, it gave a chance for some of the new squad members to show what they are made of.
Last season’s back rowers Alex Bradley, Scott White and Marcus Lowe all put in good performances. Ben Bolster looked assured at outside half and there was some good touches from the experienced Xav Andre. The new three scrum halves used, Elliot McPhun, Paolo Peschesolido and Ewen Fenley looked comfortable and there was some good pace shown from Archie Van Dyke and Jack Robinson.
Again there are a number of players unavailable for this game but with over 40 players at training last week, the coaching team will have enough options.
The Hawks squad for the game is:
Brad Cook, Andrew Stubbs, Charlie Hughes, Liam Goodison, Angus Hinton, Scott White, Marcus Lowe, Will Bordill
Ewen Fenley, Ben Bolster, George Wood, Xavier Andre, Alex Burridge, Murray Bellis, Sam Randle
George Primett, Taine Wagstaff, George Probyn, Elliot Deacon, Toby Warburton, Jake Lovett, Charlie Dominy, Harry Jackson, Ben Venner, Charlie Wicks, Ryan Scott-Young, Connor Sugre, Samir Kharbouch, Archie Van Dyke
Rosslyn Park have a proud history in the game and for many seasons they were one of London’s top sides. Current England international Joe Launchbury donned Rosslyn Parks colours and over they years the club provided many players for England duty. They also have a good name for respecting everything that rugby stands for and great rugby characters from the past like Andy Ripley have a place in folklore not only at Rosslyn Park but in rugby worldwide.
At present they are one of the stronger clubs in National 1 and are aiming for promotion to the Championship this season having made some quality signings over the summer. These include Scotland international Prop Kyle Traynor and back rower James Freeman who captained Jersey for two seasons in the Championship.
The last time the clubs met competitively was in the 2015-16 season in National 1. Rosslyn Park won in London on the opening day of that season by 62-15 and and did the double over the Hawks by winning 31-12 at Dry Leas.
The Rosslyn Park website is encouraging their supporters to travel by stating that ‘Henley is a decent place to watch rugby’ so a good crowd is expected. This will be a stern but useful test for the Hawks but is a pre season game and will be another opportunity for the Henley coaches to try different combinations of players and cast their eye over the squad.
This weekend also sees the Henley Hawks Women take to the field for the first time with their own pre season game on Sunday against Sutton and Epsom Ladies at Dry Leas. All supporters are welcome for a 2pm kick off.
by Nick Pitson