“ I’m really happy with the make up of the team this week – there’s a bit of dog in there, and we’ll need to dig in if we are to get anything out of the game against a very good Canterbury side.”
Head Coach Luke Arscott
DINGS ring the changes for the visit of high-flying Canterbury, who will be making their first visit to Shaftesbury Park tomorrow. (15:00 kick-off). The selectors keep faith with the squad that lost 25-15 at Birmingham & Solihull a week ago, but a head injury to wing Brad Doggett, the absence of lock Ehize Ehizode who is missing due to Bristol Bears’ duty and the departure of Shek Sheriff, has meant the team has undergone a slight re-shuffle. But Head Coach Luke Arscott is more than happy with the Crusaders line-up to face the Kent side.
He said: “We’ve been forced into a couple of changes, but we don’t believe we have been weakened at all by the alterations. I’m really happy with the make up of the team this week – there’s a bit of dog in there, and we’ll need to dig in if we are to get anything out of the game against a very good Canterbury side.
“It’s a strange situation to be in because even though we are at home, playing in front of our own support, the visitors are heavy favourites – nobody is expecting anything from us, so I guess that relieves the pressure a bit. We haven’t clicked for a few games now, but we have played well in patches against some of the better teams in the division, and we know what we’re capable of when we do manage to put things together."
Arscott and his co selectors pick the same front-row that started at Bees last week – James Hall, Joe Hawkesby and Josh Lloyd. Gavin Curry returns to the side after missing last week’s defeat due to work commitments, and packs down in the engine room alongside Jake Holcombe who shifts forward from No8. Tom Knight – a try-scorer last time out – joins Stean Williams and the returning Michele Canulli in the back-row.
Steve Plummer skippers the side from scrum-half, with Arscott shifting from full-back to fly-half, with promising youngster Sam Perry moving to the bench. Marcus Brooker and Matt Smith form a familiar mid-field partnership, while Jordan Grattan, Josh Trinham and Harry Tovey re-united in the back three.
Dings Crusaders v Canterbury, Shaftesbury Park, 15:00 kick-off.
15 Jordan Grattan; 14 Josh Trinham, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Marcus Brooker, 11 Harry Tovey, 10 Luke Arscott, 9 Steve Plummer; 1 James Hall, 2 Joe Hawkesby, 3 Josh Lloyd, 4 Jake Holcombe, 5 Gavin Curry, 6 Tom Knight, 7 Stean Williams, 8 Michele Canulli.
Updated 14:48 - 11 Jan 2019 by John White
16 Ash Challenger, 17 Tom Anderson, 18 George Nowell, 19 Sam Perry, 20 Ian Clark.