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Plate expectations for local clubs
8:36am Friday 15th March 2013 in Sport
Most Hampshire clubs will be taking a rest and watching the climax of the RBS Six Nations this weekend – but a few have an eye on silverware of their own.
Eight teams are still in the Gales HSB Hampshire Plate and that number will be down to four tomorrow afternoon.
The draw has brought together a few intriguing ties with Millbrook facing Solent University.
Brook have reached this season’s last eight with a couple of byes and have home advantage over the students.
The university go under the banner of Team Solent and have been setting the pace in Snows Group Hampshire 2 this campaign.
They will step up a level after their first year in league rugby.
Millbrook welcome back Barney Jones, Ratu Degei and Dan Wade into the side from injury while Tom Colling moves back to his preferred scrum half position.
Fordingbridge will be looking for a repeat performance when they travel to Petersfield, having beaten their opponents convincingly twice in Hampshire 1 this season.
And there will be new roles for Mat Norton and Dan Brown, who both crossed the line three times in the 71-3 mauling of Andover last Saturday.
Skipper Norton, normally a centre, played as flanker but now reverts to his normal midfield role.
And Brown shows his versatility by playing in his third position in three weeks – first as winger, then centre and at fullback tomorrow.
Brown is desperate to retain his title as the club’s leading try scorer and, if scores again tomorrow, it will bring him level on 13 with injured Number 8 Rob Hay.
Meanwhile, two youngsters who have been making a name for themselves in the Fordingbridge Colts XV, Paddy Gogin and Ross Bealey, are also likely to start – Gogin on the flank and Bealey in the centre.
There is another Hampshire 1 v Hampshire 2 clash as Andover travel to Overton while US Portsmouth host Isle of Wight.