Following their long trip to Cheltenham a fortnight ago, the Rhinos return to action this weekend entertaining High Wycombe III in a friendly at Holme Park, and new skipper Keith Searle is hoping to get his first win of his tenure.
“We were 20 minutes from helping Mark Lilley from bringing the Vets Cup back to its spiritual home” he lamented. “Then we followed that up with a tough match against Gloucester Vets finest – England international included.”
“Although we didn’t bring any silverware back, that didn't stop our small band of travellers returning with a dozen "cups" and a polypin of Perry to ease the journey home!”
Searle is well aware of his responsibilities as captain of the mighty Rhinos.
“There is always that moment of expectation at the start of the season, and this weekend's home fixture gives us a great chance to really start to build our season, and play some crowd pleasing rugby. With only one other team on show, we should have all available Rhinos to ourselves and get some structure to our play ahead of our first league match on 13th October. As always we look forward to performing in front of our home supporters and plan to reward them with our first win of the season.”
Reading will be without Berkshire President Danny Pratt who is still recovering from a dead leg sustained in Cheltenham, whilst new vice-captain Shaun Collins is away. Also amongst the absentees are Paul Boulard (concussion), Timothy Hill (wedding), and Ali Driver (cruise speaking gig).
Keith will be relieved to have the 8/9 axis of Julian Edwards and Mark Richards available, whilst Renegade/Kite Douglas Grierson is also in the squad. New recruit Shaun Batcheldor could also feature.
Kick-off at Holme Park on Saturday is 3pm.