RYAN Stevenson and Ajeet Dale will return from injury to take their place in the Hampshire squad this weekend.

Both missed this week's stunning victory over Surrey, but are set to come back into contention when Hants host Essex at Arundel Castle.

The four-day Bob Willis Trophy contest begins tomorrow, with both sides battling it out at the top of their group.

Essex currently top the pile, 16 points ahead of Hampshire after three fixtures.

Sam Northeast will again captain the side with regular skipper James Vince missing as he awaits the birth of his second child.

Keith Barker and Liam Dawson are also absent from the 13-man squad due to injury.

The game will again be played behind-closed-doors.

James Fuller will look to continue his fine form after claiming a hat-trick in the innings win over Surrey.

Hampshire squad: Northeast, Alsop, Fuller, Scriven, Came, Weatherley, Stevenson, Wheal, Holland, McManus, Organ, Dale, Crane.