FOLLOWING defeat in the first league game of the new season, Dorchesterwill look to make the most of home advantage tomorrow to overcome Thatcham in the Southern Counties South Division (3pm), who are also looking for their first win.
The Dorchester A side are away to Swanage and Wareham Seconds, whilst the Thirds are away to Bournemouth Fourths, both tough away Wadworth league fixtures. However, with all three teams in action this weekend Dorchester are keen to show strength and depth in their senior squads.
Both head coaches, Eral Anderson and Martyn Peel, said that this was a most difficult selection to be involved in.
However, with close to 60 players available across three sides this weekend, things are looking up for Dorchester, and fielding three teams regularly in the league is back to where they want to be.
Club stalwart Dave Cottell, who has racked up over 260 appearances for the club, starts at prop, with another club stalwart Dave Gower returning to the team at scrum-half. Captain Adam Makepeace is joined in the second row by Cameron Wills, who has successfully come through Dorchester’s youth system.
Another product of Dorchester’s successful youth system, Jack Ward, steps up at full-back and both newcomer Jed Gravelle and vice-captain James Baker will look to score from out wide on the wings.
Peel and Anderson are looking for a reaction from the team after defeat away last weekend. Home advantage at Coburg Road and vocal home support should spur the team on to perform well and pick up their first win of the season.
Second team captain Rob Parker will be looking for a win on the road this weekend after a strong win last weekend. Vice-captain Laurence Burch comes back into the side following a pre-season knock, George Foot also returns to rugby action after a summer of cricket while Luc Scadden will no doubt want to get his name on the score sheet again following last week’s hat-trick.
New Gladiators’ captain, Tony O’Connell, takes his men on the road for their first game of the season. The game sees a welcome return for Chris Miners following a horrific leg break some years ago and James Jackson returns to the club after 10 years away. The team also welcomes newcomer Cian Evans and two of last year’s Colts, Pip Skelland and Felix Rouwen, stepping up.
The weekend kicks off for the county town club with an U17’s fixture against Milton Abbey School on Friday night alongside an U13’s match against local rivals Weymouth. Sunday is the second registration day for the youth and mini sections, with U15’s in Dorset & Wilts cup action against Swanage & Wareham at 11am. All other age groups are training.