ALAN Hancock has welcomed the creativity at his disposal as Oxford Harlequins travel to local rivals Banbury tomorrow.
Quins name three fly-halves in their starting line-up, with Huw Dimond, Ollie Jenner and Sam Watkinson to play at No 10, inside centre and full back respectively.
Head of rugby Hancock is hoping the trio can help his side to a fifth win in six games and further boost their survival hopes in South West 1 East.
He said: “We’re gifted in the back line, all three are superb half-backs.
“Sam can slot in and brings a bit of a kicking game to our armoury at full back.”
Winger Ed Yeats also returns, while in the pack, prop Matt Edney, hooker George Tierney and No 8 Fotu Latu come back in.
Hancock added: “We will try to control the physicality of the game.
“We want it to be on our terms and the pack is an area we want to dominate, but we can’t underestimate Banbury.”
Bulls head coach James Kerr is hoping to avenge a 19-13 defeat at Marston Ferry Road in October.
A second half try from Jenner, which saw the ball ricochet off a corner flag before the Quins player dotted down, proved the main talking point.
Kerr said: “We should have won and it was that try that bounced off the infamous corner flag that was the difference, so we’ll be making sure the boys are absolutely focused.”
Banbury lost to Quins, Witney and Grove in the early part of the season, but are targeting a turnaround against their local rivals, having beaten the latter in January.
Kerr added: “The second half of the season has been about trying to replicate a lot of our wins and writing some of the wrongs.
“The matches against the Oxfordshire sides are games we want to get right the second time around.”
Meanwhile, Grove and Witney host Old Centralians and Royal Wootton Bassett respectively.
National League 2 South leaders Chinnor make one change to their starting XV for their clash at home to Cinderford.
Jonny Bentley comes in at fly half as the Kingsey Road-based side bid to build on last week’s 50-20 win at Bury St Edmunds.
Director of rugby Matt Williams has been encouraged by his side’s recent form, which has seen them win their last five games.
He said: “Since the Redruth loss, each week has been a step back in the right direction.
“It feels like momentum is building for the right part of the season.”
Fly half Bertie Hopkin is named in the squad for the first time since dislocating his shoulder in November.
He replaces scrum half Greg Goodfellow on the bench.
Williams added: “I’m delighted Bertie is back.
“It’s very tough on Greg not to be involved, but I need to get the balance of the bench right and it made sense I had a ten rather than a nine.”
Henley Hawks host Canterbury at Dry Leas.
The south Oxfordshire outfit suffered a 51-17 defeat to their visitors in October and name a much-changed side from last week’s defeat at Old Elthamians.
Joe Butler takes over at fly half in place of the injured James Comben (neck).
Liam O’Neill moves to full back, while Sam Portland starts on the wing.
In the pack, hooker Tom Emery returns, Dave Clements moves to lock, and David Hyde switches to flanker.
Chinnor (v Cinderford, home): Goss, Hibberd, Barnes, Broughton, Lamont, Bentley, Davies, Price, Darlington, Hutchinson, Hannay, Osazuwa, Pienaar, Bradley, Burns. Reps: Tyack, Britton, Manning, Hopkin, Fatialofa.
Henley (v Canterbury, home): O’Neill, Perry, Andre, Hayhow, Portland, Butler, Jackson, Manning, Emery, Montou-Alexis, Clements, Albon, Hyde, Bell, Lowe. Reps: Hadfield, Philpott, Haynes, Steventon- Wright, Burn.
Banbury (v Oxford Harlequins, home): Stoop, Deegan, Manley, Goode, O’Shea, Briggs, E Phillips, Isham, Ding, Key, Johnson, Brock, Chilvers, Sam Mills, C Phillips. Reps: Boyle, Mickey Fox.
Oxford Harlequins (v Banbury, away): Watkinson, Van Dijk, Robinson, Jenner, Yeats, Dimond, O’Brian, Edney, Tierney, Barlow, Neal, Purchase, Milton, Ward, Latu. Reps: from Davies, Ojo, Fisilau, Tynan, Taylor.
Witney (v Rl Wootton Bassett, home): Lewis, Lambourne, Godfrey, Clarke, L Collins, Lamb, G Campbell, Fuller, Merriman, Richens, Webb, Mortimer, Allen, S Collins, C Campbell. Reps: Copperwheat, Bayliss, Boshell.