OXFORD University fly half Basil Strang is set for his debut when high-flying Chinnor bid to kick off 2017 with victory at Redruth tomorrow.

The 23-year-old, who played in last month’s Varsity Match defeat, has joined the National League 2 South side for the second half of the season.

Strang’s signing solves an injury crisis for Chinnor, with regular No 10s Bertie Hopkin and Sam Angell sidelined.

Director of rugby Matt Williams hopes the former Henley Hawks man can follow in the footsteps of his ex-Oxford teammates Henry Lamont and George Messum in playing a key role at the club.

He said: “George and Henry were a big part of the transformation of last season and it will be great for Basil to emulate their success.

“He is also playing in a position where he has the power to dictate.”

Third-placed Chinnor returned to training on Tuesday after using the Christmas break as a rest period.

Williams believes, judging by the early signs, that decision has paid off.

He said: “Training was really good.

“It just proved the importance of letting the guys have that time to wind down.”

Captain Danny Barnes is back from suspension, while flanker Richard Thorpe has returned to full fitness.

Henley welcome Redingensians to Dry Leas, hoping to complete the double over the Berkshire club.

In the forwards, Dave Manning returns from military duty, while Tom Hall, Rob Bell and David Hyde make up a revamped back row.

Full back Tom Parton and scrum half George Jackson also start.

In South West 1 East, Banbury bid to extend their unbeaten run to seven games when they travel to Oxfordshire rivals Grove.

Head coach James Kerr is fully aware the south Oxfordshire side will look to exploit their dominance in the pack.

He said: "They know us as well as we know them.

"It is a simple game, it is about winning our own phase ball, keeping possession and playing in the right areas.

"We know they will be looking to dominate up front and it is about reacting to that and playing as much Banbury rugby as possible for the 80 minutes."

Oxford Harlequins make six changes, one positional, for their bottom-of-the-table clash at home to Reading.

Hooker George Tierney and flanker Charlie Ward start, with Adam Neal switching to blindside.

In the backs, Guy Fairburn, Ollie Jenner and Jack Crowe all return.

Witney travel to Chippenham.

On Sunday, Wheatley face Blue Boar in the semi-finals of the Oxfordshire Shield at Oxford RFC.


Chinnor (v Redruth, away): Castle, Hibberd, Barnes, Fatialofa, Goss, Strang, Goodfellow, Cano, Britton, Tyack, Hannay, Parkins, Bradley, Thorpe, Burns. Reps: Price, M Darlington, Manning, Lamont, Armitage.

Henley Hawks (v Redingensians, home): Parton, Andre, Hayhow, O’Neill, Perry, Butler, Jackson, Hadfield, Emery, Manning, Clements, Albon, Hall, Bell, Hyde. Reps: Cook, Philpott, Morrison, Lowe, Stevenson-Wright.

Banbury (v Grove, away): Briggs, Joe Mills, Manley, Goode, Cracknell, Stoop, E Phillips, Fox, Ding, Isham, Jacob Mills, Brock, Chilvers, Sam Mills, C Phillips. Reps: Key, Harden, Fox.

Oxford Harlequins (v Reading, home): Van Dijk, Crowe, Robinson, Jenner, Fisilau, Watkinson, Fairburn, Edney, Tierney, Boulton, Ojo, Purchase, Neal, Ward, Milton. Reps: from Barlow, Latu, O’Brian, Farahani, Campbell.

Wheatley (v Blue Boar, Oxford RFC): from Acklam, Mitchel, Chadbone, Gabbidon, Durbin, Gibb, Smith, Banton, Neal, Bland, Atkinson, Laman,Willis, Hillisdon, J Taylor, J Hobdell, Rule, Downer, Muir, Hook.