Winchester, second in London 3 South West, cannot afford to let things slip against visitors Purley John Fisher. Eager to close the four-point gap on league leaders Weybridge and extend their five-game unbeaten run, they will be determined to keep fourth place PJF at arm’s length with the top-of-the-table situation so tight.
Purley John Fisher have already beaten the third place Ellingham & Ringwood side that beat Winchester on the opening Saturday of the season and they pose a real threat to their Hampshire opponents this weekend.
Flanker Angus Adamson returns in place of Greg Sullivan but Winchester are otherwise unchanged with teenage scrum-half Rhodri Adamson hoping to take his points tally for the season through the 100-mark and top try scorer Matt Burt bidding to take Winchester’s impressive scoring tally beyond 300 points. Eastleigh captain Russell Smith is calling for a 100 per cent effort from his troops in every league encounter after the London 3SW newcomers lost out at Purley John Fisher last week.
Eastleigh have home advantage over Old Mid-Whitgiftian tomorrow and are keen to stay the right side of a split that is developing halfway up the table.
Smith said: “There is a nice divide there and we want to make sure we stay in the top half.
“We know they are more than capable and can put a good side together and pull off a result on the day.
“We have to learn that we have to turn up on the day and we want to make amends for the loss last week.
“In Hampshire 1 we could put in a performance that was not our best and still get away with a win. Now we need to play, including myself, at the highest possible standard.”
Prop Greg King is out with a neck injury, flanker James Curran is unavailable and John Whetherall steps up to the first XV bench.
Third-placed Ellingham & Ringwood will entertain their Parsonage Barn Lane faithful supporters with a game against Old Paulines.
Clive Downton previews tomorrow's Rugby in today's Daily Echo