OXFORD Harlequins will be hoping the return of fly half Sam Watkinson will change their fortunes in a rearranged derby clash at home to Grove tomorrow.
The original South West 1 East clash in November had to be abandoned after a serious back injury suffered by Grove hooker Steve Dixey, who happily is on the mend.
Watkinson’s return is one of five changes from the Quins’ team that lost 41-20 away to fellow strugglers Swindon, leaving them in the relegation zone and ten points from safety.
“Sam missed the Swindon game due to family commitments,” said Quins skipper Allan Purchase.
“We missed five kicks at goal – 11 points in all – against Swindon, so his place-kicking and control of play from fly-half will be crucial against Grove.”
Will Roberts returns at full back for Quins, while props Ollie Barlow and Pete Boulton will strengthen the front row.
Chinnor hand debuts to ex-London Welsh recruits – No 8 Ben Pienaar and scrum half Josh Davies – for their home encounter against Barnes.
The duo joined the National League 2 South leaders earlier this week.
Former Exiles captain Pienaar replaces the rested Tom Burns, while the other change in the forwards sees Tom Price start at loose head.
Flanker CJ Osazuwa is still out with a broken rib.
In the backs, winger Henry Lamont comes in for Luke Hibberd, while Davies starts in place of Greg Goodfellow.
A third London Welsh signing, Joe Hutchinson, is on the bench.
Director of rugby Matt Williams said: “Greg has played 80 minutes for most of the season.
“It’s an opportunity to give him a bit of a rest.”
Henley Hawks host Cinderford at Dry Leas.
Connor Hayhow replaces the suspended Alan Awcock at inside centre, while James Hadfield returns at loose head.
Jake Albon starts at lock and Connor Morrison steps up to blind-side flanker.
Defending champions Banbury take on Chinnor 2nd in the semi-finals of the Oxfordshire Cup at Bodicote Park.
The winners will face either Oxford University Greyhounds or Bicester, who play on Tuesday, February 14.
Chinnor (v Barnes, home): Goss, Broughton, Barnes, Armitage, Lamont, Giles, Davies, Price, Townsend, Tyack, Hannay, Manning, Thorpe, Bradley, Pienaar. Reps: Hutchinson, Darlington, Parkins, Goodfellow, Hibberd.
Henley (v Cinderford, home): Butler, Perry, O’Neill, Hayhow, Andre, Comben, Jackson, Hadfield, Philpott, Manning, Clements, Albon, Morrison, Bell, Lowe. Reps: Emery, Cook, Montout-Alexis, Hall, Portland.
Oxford Harlequins (v Grove, home): Roberts, Crowe, Robinson, Jenner, Fislau, Watkinson, Fairburn, Barlow, Tierney, Boulton, Neal, Purchase (capt) Milton, Ward, Alston. Reps: Latu, Ojo, O’Brian, Wilson, Davies.
Banbury (v Chinnor 2nd, home): Joe Mills, Cracknell, Manley, Goode, Brady, Briggs, E Phillips, Isham, Ding, Key, Harden, Johnson, Chilvers, Sam Mills, Brand. Reps: C Phillips, Jacob Mills, Potter, Boyle, Pratt.