Henley Hawks are on their travels again this week, they travel the short distance to West London to take on Barnes RFC for their latest National 2 (E) fixture. This is the second away trip for the Hawks to start 2023 having travelled to the Channel Islands last week.
Kick off at the Queen Elizabeth Walk Ground, Barn Elms is at the earlier time of 2pm.
The Hawks had an excellent return from their trip to Guernsey last Saturday. Guernsey are a tough proposition on their own ground and travelling to play there at this time of year makes it even harder. So to come away from the Channel Islands with a 27-26 bonus point victory was an excellent result for the Hawks. They were trailing 26-12 with twenty minutes left but staged a first class comeback to claim victory with a penalty from Max Titchener in the last five minutes. Tom Emery, Tom Vooght and a brace from Adam Hakimian were the Hawks try scorers.
Head coach Luke Allen has goes with consistency and tries to keep a settled, winning side to take on Barnes. There are just three changes to the starting line up, one of those is positional. Sam Lunnon moves from second row to No8 replacing Tom Vooght, while Omar Ellaboudy comes back in to the second row. The rest of the pack is unchanged.
In the backs, the only change sees Seb Scott come in on the wing in place of Reuben Norville.
15 George Wood, 14 Seb Scott, 13 Adam Hakimian, 12 Louis Flynn 11 Ryan Crowley,
10 Max Titchener, 9 Ewan Fenley
1 Dave Manning (c), 2 Tom Emery, 3 Rory Mason, 4 Omar Ellaboudy, 5 Ben Harrison, 6 Tom Hall, 7 Scott White, 8 Sam Lunnon,
Reps: 16 Ollie Frostick, 17 Morgan Macrae, 18 Zac Taylor, 19 Will Crow, 20 Guy Rawsthorn
The Guernsey victory sees the Hawks move into sixth position in the league. However, they are only four points behind second placed Old Albanian and two behind this weeks opponents Barnes who are third. Blackheath are seven points clear at the top after a win against Rochford last Saturday while Old Albanian beat North Walsham 31-7. Fourth placed Dorking overcame Barnes 17-13 while Worthing, in fifth, won a tight game at Sevenoaks 21-19.
Over the past few seasons, Barnes have consolidated themselves into a tough National 2 outfit and last season they finished 11th. They made an impressive start to this season and have managed to maintain their progress and are currently third in the league. The West London side visited Dry Leas back in September but the Hawks claimed victory 29-12. It was December 2021 last season the last time the Hawks visited West London. The game ended in a 17-17 draw.
Elsewhere this weekend, the Henley Bulls (2nd XV) also travel to Barnes to take on their 2nd XV. Kick off is also 2pm.
The Henley Vikings (3rd XV), after their good victory over Aldermaston last week, travel to take on Beaconsfield 2nd XV, kick off there is also 2pm.
On Sunday, the Henley Hawks Women have a home league game against Hove. Kick off at Dry Leas is 2pm.