With regular 2nds captain Leon Gardner and new No. 8 Dale Martin called up for first team service 2nds coach Mark Stone has turned to Jacob Smith and Dom Rice from the Colts to step up as Beeches arrive Footes Lane on Saturday.
In the case of Dom Rice, this is a senior debut for the Colts captain.
Stone is excited by his potential.
‘He was identified by Jordan (Reynolds) last season as a player with a huge amount of potential and we have been working with him all summer in senior training as well as the work RDO Steve Melbourne has been doing with him in the gym.
‘He has recently been representing Hampshire under 18’s and I’m really excited to see how he takes to his first senior game.
‘I’m sure he is champing at the bit to get out in the action. He’ll be starting at open side.’
In the backs, there are returns for Shane Taylor, Dave Davision and perhaps Andy Rigden, although the latter’s hamstring problem has flared up again and could be a doubt.
‘With players of this calibre returning selection is becoming tougher and tougher in this area but it’s a welcome problem after the injury hit sides we have had to put out recently,’ said the coach.
‘I’m sure the guys on the side line will be itching to get on and make an impact in the game and show why they should have a starting jersey. Another debutant will be young Tom Velliard who has been impressing with the Colts.
‘He’ll be cover at half-back and hopefully we’ll get the chance to look at him in action.’
Stone’s men go into the game searching for a fourth straight win, five if you count the friendly over St Jacques last weekend.
‘We learned some valuable lessons last week in the St Jacques game and we’ve been working on some specifics in training last night and will continue on Thursday.
‘Beeches had a good win last weekend against Banks so they will certainly pose a danger as all the Jersey sides do, but if we stick to our systems and play to our potential I see no reason why we should not be four from four by the time we sit down with a beer to enjoy the 1st XV game.’
1, Laurence Hill-Tout; 2, Callum Murdoch 3, Russell Roberts (capt); 4, Mitchell Smith; 5, Jacob Smith 6, Nico Ashplant; 7, Dominic Rice; 8, Jim Elliott; 9, Joe Mooney; 10, Seoirse Lee; 11, Shane Taylor; 12, Barry Goude; 13, Dave Davison; 14, Ollie Daunt; 15, Andy Bailey
Replacements: John Bergh, Craig Wilson, Simon Graham, Callum Gladstone, Tom Velliard, Diogo De Freitas, Carl Johnson.