Rugby:Andover and out!

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As cautious as ever, however, coach Dai Burton is taking nothing for granted.

Having gone over a year undefeated, his team only beat Andover by a point earlier in the season at St Peter, when right at the end of the game a Darren Toudic penalty turned defeat into a 23-22 victory.

‘They are a good team and although they often play a forward-dominated game they can look like winning when they run the ball wide.

They have a fast set of backs, and they know their pitch, which is really a sloping field.

‘I’d expect the conditions to be heavy underfoot, which means it could turn out to be a forward battle.

‘However, this season we’ve learnt to vary our play.

We can match them both in the pack and in our three-quarters.

‘The side is also fairly settled at the moment.

They know they need just one more win and, despite having not played for the last two Saturdays, they are looking forward to it; champing at the bit in training!’ Burton’s three players on the bench also give him options, where the London Irish-bound back five player, Matt Banahan, sits alongside regular Jersey RFC 1st XV player, Darren Toudic, and a new name on the team list, Gareth Thomas, a 20-stone, 6 ft 4 in prop, who is now working in the Island having previously been at Sheffield.

‘Andover are just under halfway in the league and have lost their last two games, so they’ll be keen to turn their fortunes around,’ added Burton, who has put forward four of his players for selection to the full Hampshire side, Brett Els, Richard Finch, Steve O’Brien and Gareth Jeffreys.

If Jersey win the league tomorrow – and consider it is still only February! – the selectors will have to give them a fair chance to represent the county.

Team: Marcus Nobes, Doc Snook, Josh Chamier, Danny McAlister, Roger Quirk, Ian Henderson, Richie Griffiths, Brett Els, Dave Miles, Mark White, Matt Davenport-Brown, Andy Whelan, Steve O’Brien, Richard Finch, Gareth Jeffreys.

Replacements: Matt Banahan, Darren Toudic, Gareth Thomas.

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