Davies gets chance at 10 as Raiders rotate

TOP SIX-CHASING Raiders have an eye on the future as well as the Hawks when they travel to Henley tomorrow.

Charlie Davies, pictured playing at inside centre during last week's win over Barnes, will move to fly-half for Raiders at Henley tomorrow. (Picture by Martin Gray, 30509789)
Charlie Davies, pictured playing at inside centre during last week's win over Barnes, will move to fly-half for Raiders at Henley tomorrow. (Picture by Martin Gray, 30509789)

Guernsey director of rugby Jordan Reynolds is ringing the changes as his side’s relentless schedule starts to take its toll with Doug Horrocks is taking a well-earned rest tomorrow and Owen Thomas will also sit out the game, but the coach insists that short-term goals are not being compromised for longer-term benefit.

‘It’s important to rotate,’ Reynolds said.

‘We understand the importance of this season and winning games, but we have also got one eye on next season because developing and improving as a squad is an important process too.

‘The ability to make changes and not being concerned about making those changes and putting players in different positions will only be a benefit heading into 2022-23.

‘When choosing to rotate out key players and trying out different options, it has got to be looked at with confidence and excitement.’

In Horrocks’ absence, James Burger comes into the back row with Dom Rice switching to No. 8 and hooker Tom Ceillam will captain the side.

In the backline, Charlie Davies will move into fly-half with fit-again Ciaran McGann returning in the centres to partner Ethan Smith.

‘With Ciaran McGann coming back in, moving Charlie to 10 gives us more different options we can look at and given how the conditions are likely to be, we probably need to be playing two combative centres if we want to be edging towards a high percentage of gain-line success,’ Reynolds said.

The return of Jacob Pinkney, Hugo Culverhouse and Joe Andresen adds strength to the Raiders bench on a weekend when Guernsey could move back into the top six if they win and other results go their way.

However, that will be a big ask against fifth-placed Henley who last week inflicted a 39-17 defeat on previous league leaders Esher.

‘After our game with Esher when we finished within a score of them with a depleted team, we did not feel that they are the team they think they are and all it would take is one team to play really well against them to show that.

‘Henley did have the bounce of the ball go their way, but they chanced their luck and got their rewards.

‘It will be different with the weather conditions this week, but full credit to them – they blew Esher off the park last week and they will be eyeing up this game as another big contest for them.’

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