Chichester test for buzzing Blue & Golds

Steve Clark is expected to miss the trip to Chichester
Steve Clark is expected to miss the trip to Chichester

Eastbourne Rugby coach Mal Chumbley is expecting a tough test when they travel to Chichester 3rds for their Sussex Spitfire Division one clash tomorrow (Saturday).

While they were triumphant in both fixtures against the weekend’s opponents last season, the away match was particularly hard-fought and the boss knows they will have to be at their best if they are to come away with another victory.

“It will be a tough game. They’re a side that tends to be very strong at home as we experienced first-hand last year in a close game,” said Chumbley.

The Blue and Golds are in fine form though and victory would see them rack up a fifth win on the bounce.

The only blot on their copy book so far this term is an opening day defeat to league pacesetters Pullborough.

Last season they enjoyed an equally strong start, winning their first six matches, but they tailed off towards the end and narrowly missed out on promotion as a result.

And Chumbley believes the Pullborough defeat might have been a positive in fact.

“We’re in a slightly different position this year. I think this season, with the disappointment of the Pullborough game, it gave us a bit of a reality check,” he said

The squad has been rotated in recent weeks and the players that have come in have impressed, providing the boss with a bit of a selection head-ache.

“The new guys that have come in have done themselves proud.

“It’s provided even more competition for places which was exactly what we are trying to do here.

Unavailable for selection is Centre Steve Clark who is still two weeks away from fitness. Luke Wilmer aggravated a neck injury against Crowborough two weeks ago so also misses the Chichester trip and Hungarian prop Pele is ruled out through injury as well.

Promising young full-back Jack Linscott is expected to start though, followin a man-of-the-match performance in last weekend’s trip to Sittingbourne.