Birmingham Moseley have been handed a boost ahead of tomorrow’s game at Esher by the return to fitness of a number of important players.
The list is headed by fly-half James Dixon and former Stourbridge captain Ciaran Moore, while former Coventry flanker Jacques le Roux and ex-Gloucester centre Tim Molenaar could also appear at Molesey Road.
This good news is, however, offset by the absence of a trio of young backs.
Worcester centre Will Butler, fly-half Sam Hollingsworth and pacy winger Sam Pointon all suffered injuries during the defeat by Blackheath last Saturday, which will prevent them from being part of this week’s National One clash.
Rugby director Richard Protherough was phlegmatic about the developments and said a late decision will be made on his final starting line-up.
“Sam Hollingsworth got a knock to the head so we’re giving him a break as a precaution and Sam Pointon twisted his ankle,” he said.
“Will is also likely to be out as he injured his hand in the first 15 minutes on Saturday.
“James is back from a muscle strain so we’ve got a decision to make between him and Andrew Fluker. He came on and controlled the game really well for us against Blackheath, so we’ve got some options there.
“Tim is nearly there too – we need to see how he looks closer to kick-off. With us only having room for two backs on the bench, and one needing to be a scrum-half, it would be a big gamble to put someone who’s straight back from injury into the side, as if the injury went again we’d be exposed.”
Moseley are also likely to make some changes in the back row but the boss is likely to stick with the front five who performed so strongly against Blackheath.
“Most of our problems last week stemmed from midfield turnovers but the forwards did pretty well, we dominated the scrum and our lineout drive was also good,’’ said Protherough.
“In the back row, we’ll probably give Ciaran a first start, as he was impressive off the bench against Blackheath after being out for a while with a hamstring strain.
“Jacques is also on the mend so we have some options there now if we need to give anyone a rest.”
Esher’s line-up contains a number of faces familiar to Midland rugby watchers. Devlin Hope and Ali Bone have both had spells at Coventry in recent times, while Spencer Sutherland is a Stourbridge old boy.
They sit alongside Mose on 12 points after six rounds of action and Protherough is expecting Ricky Nebbett’s team to adopt an expansive approach.
“We’ve seen a bit of Esher and they seem to like throwing the ball around,” he said. “We’ll need to be on our mettle in defence, be a lot more aggressive and joined-up in our approach.
“Our tight forwards maintain the level of dominance they had last week, as although results have gone against Esher in recent weeks, we’re expecting a fierce battle up front.”
Source : BirminghamMail