ADAM Copperwheat believes Witney’s ability to play with freedom is helping their late bid to avoid the drop.

The west Oxfordshire side head to county rivals Oxford Harlequins tomorrow, having given themselves

a shot at taking the South West 1 East relegation battle to the last weekend.

Witney will go down if Trowbridge record a bonus-point win at home to Beaconsfield, otherwise they have a chance of taking it to the wire.

Copperwheat knows his side, who are six points adrift, need a positive result against Quins, who have not won since January, but is relaxed about this weekend.

The head coach said: “We’re fairly positive about it all.

“We put ourselves in a hole and we still have nothing to lose.

“Everyone expects us to get relegated, including probably a few people at the club just because of how the table looks.

“Because we don’t have any pressure on us, if we get turned over and concede a try, it’s really not the end of the world.”

Witney make one change, with Jack Strong coming in for Jack Birks on the wing.

Quins welcome back captain James Stacey at inside centre.

Third-placed Banbury know they must beat Wimborne to give themselves any hope of staying in the promotion picture, with Old Centralians, who occupy the sole play-off spot, four points better off.

In National League 2 South, Henley Hawks host struggling Guernsey.

Luke Allen’s side are still chasing the sole play-off spot, trailing second-placed Canterbury by six points with 15 still on offer.

Winger George Griffiths replaces George Wood.

Chinnor welcome Blackheath to Kingsey Road in National League 1, bidding to end a four-match winless run.

They make four changes, with Tom Price, Ben Thomas, Latu Makaafi and Alex Dancer handed starts.

Meanwhile, Oxford University have travelled to Dubrovnik to face Croatia tomorrow.


Chinnor (v Blackheath, home): Goss, Holland, Barnes, A Dancer, Heath, Ryan, Hopkin, Cano, Price, Schickerling, Thomas, J Dancer, Oliver, Bordill, Makaafi. Reps: Southworth, Gilding, Jubb, Manning, Grose.

Henley Hawks (v Guernsey, home): L O’Neill, Griffiths, Andre, R O’Neill, Robinson, Barnes, Webb, Stock, Emery, Primett, Albon, Hyde, Lunnon, Lowe, Bradley. Reps: Cook, Deacon, White, Goodison, Wood.

Banbury (v Wimborne, away): Mills, Parker, Leese, Briggs, Brady, Gray, Phillips, Key, Isham, Boulton, Carr-Archer, Horne, Mills, Powell, Berridge. Reps: Potter, Eyston, Triggs.

Oxford Harlequins (v Witney, home): Henderson, Turetta, Nutt, Stacey, K De Lange, Jones, O’Brian, Farahani, Ralton, P De Lange, Purchase, Myatt, MacCallum, Todd, White. Reps: Nalewabau, Garrett, Gill.

Witney (v Oxford Harlequins, away): Gaffney, Strong, Clarke, Foggett, Turberville, Landray, Lambourne, Nobbs, Curry, Wakeman, Mortimer, Caffekey, Coe, Campbell, Bayliss. Reps: Dore, Anderson, Strutt.

Oxford University (v Croatia, away): Dempsey, Clarke, Haddock, Hackett, Stileman, Jackson, Tresidder, Vaughan, Henry, Parker, Dix, Pozniak, Friend, Watson, Ridgway. Reps: Navarajasegran, Auckland, Warr, Miller, McGagh, Dalton, Wilkinson, Quinlan.


Southern Counties North: Reading v Littlemore, Stow-on-the-Wold v Bicester, Wallingford v Aylesbury.

Southern Counties South: Grove v Yeovil.

BB&O Premier: Milton Keynes v Gosford All Blacks, Oxford v Drifters, Risborough v Didcot, Wheatley v Bletchley.