ALAN Awcock plays at fly half as Henley Hawks kick-off 2018 with a tough game away to National League 2 South title contenders Cinderford tomorrow.

The versatile former London Welsh back, whose appearances are limited by his coaching role at Magdalen College School, will partner George Jackson at half-back as regular stand-off Joe Butler is ruled out by injury.

Henley’s other changes to the side that lost 33-28 in the cracking pre-Christmas derby against Chinnor, are all in the front row.

Brad Cook returns to loose head, Tom Emery is back at hooker, while George Premitt switches to tight head.

Cinderford, one point behind leaders Chinnor, put 90 points on Hawks when the teams met at Dry Leas at the start of the season.

Since then, Henley improved to such an extent that they are now fifth in the table.

Chinnor have signed winger Kwaku Aseidu from Coventry, who makes his debut at home to London Irish Wild Geese, replacing Connor Hayhow.

That is the only change to the backswho played against Henley.

But up front, Birch and Green are injured and are replaced by Joe Hutchinson and Tom Jubb.

Of the Aseidu signing, Chinnor’s director of rugby Matt Williams said: “It’s important to bring in fresh blood at this stage of the season to keep everyone on their toes.

“London Irish are at the wrong end of the table, but no one can understand why.

“They’ve got one of the best back divisions in the league and score lots of points – but they also concede a lot. We won’t underestimate them.

“And we won’t be looking at the Henley v Cinderford result, because if we gain maximum points from our games, that will take care of itself.”

Witney will be hoping to avenge their early season defeat away to Bicester, in the return match at Hailey Road in South West 1 East.

Bicester, who gave Witney a bye in the Oxfordshire Cup, aim to halt their seven-game losing streak.

Grove have appointed Dave Maryon as their backs coach after Tom Clipsham stepped down before Christmas.

Conor Hull, Luke Matthews, Ben Davies, George Hook and James Marshall return for their trip to Wimborne, along with Sam Tokelove, who is back after a two-month lay-off through injury.

But Guy Nichol has failed to recover from an injury picked up against Stratford and misses out.

James Stacey skippers for the first time as Oxford Harlequins travel to Royal Wootton Bassett.

Head coach Andy Boyle makes five changes, with Matt White, Tim Knapp and Jack Todd coming into the pack.

In the backs, winger Ed Yeats returns and Huw Dimond starts at centre.

Banbury host Chippenham.


Henley Hawks (v Cinderford, away, 2): Robinson, Andre, O’Neill, Perry, Portland, Awcock, Jackson, Cook, Emery, Primett, Clements, Albon (capt), Haynes, Hyde.

Chinnor (v London Irish Wild Geese, home): Goss, Aseidu, Barnes, Dancer, Chesters, Hopkin, McDonald, Price, Hutchinson, Mason, Jubb, Ramshaw, Manning, Bordill, Bradley. Reps: Kano, Oliver, Waddingham, Lamont, Hamilton.

Witney (v Bicester, home, 2.15): Lambourne, Fisk, Boshell, Hankinson, Morgan, Birks, G Campbell (capt), Richardson, Copperwheat, Burke, Webb, Mortimer, C Campbell, Allen, Bayliss. Reps: Harris, Edwards, Thomas.

Grove (v Wimborne, away): Monks, S Tokelove, Hull, Wiltshire, Davies, Maryon, Matthews, Wiltshire, Hook, Walsh, Tyler, Marshall, Tyreman, Chilvers, Bellinger. Reps: McCarthy, J Tokelove, Ponting.

Oxford Harlequins (v Royal Wootton Bassett, away): Craig, Crowe, Stacey, Dimond, Yeats, Watkinson, O’Brien, Barlow, Davies, Farahani, White, Purchase, Knapp, Ward, Todd. Reps: from De Lange, Tierney, Edwards, Wiggins.