RAYMOND MAKES DEBUT... FIVE CHANGES
AFTER getting half a match for the Vikings last week, new back-rower Courtney Raymond goes straight into the Raiders side for Saturday’s London & SE match at Hertford.
As with the Vikings game Raymond, who stands around the 6ft 4 mark in his socks, plays at No. 8 tomorrow, as he fills in for an unavailable Douglas Horrocks.
It is a significantly changed team from the side that dug deep to hold Brighton Blues at bay without ever looking free and easy.
Both the Veamatahau brothers have niggles and won’t be risked, while both the skipper, Lewis Hillier and Sam Steventon are also away.
In the past, perhaps, the loss of so many key men would have been widely regarded as halfway to disaster but such is the depth of the Raiders this season, it remains a strong group that heads off to traditional rivals at this level.
The coach is able to recall Owen Thomas at stand-off after his bout of illness last weekend.
That means Joe Andresen can go out to full back as a second pivot which Jordan Reynolds had hoped would be the case against Brighton.
In the pack, Cameron Craine and Nick Merrien are well-seasoned and very able replacements, but that said the pack will look little like its usual self.
‘I know ‘Crainey’ is really excited about starting again and probably two seasons ago had we had five out it would have been regarded as very weakened side. But not now,’ said Reynolds.
‘Both ‘Mez’ and Crainey have more than 200 appearances for us so there is plenty of experience.’
Tom Ceillam takes over the captaincy and Academy product Brad Webb keeps his spot.
Director of Rugby, Jordan Reynolds expects nothing less than a really tough game from Hertford. They always are against them.
To date, they too have beaten Brighton but last week went down to the much-fancied Rochford Hundred.
‘We aren’t going to take a lot out of that result,’ said Reynolds. ‘They will be physical.’
Kick off at Hertford is at 2:30pm. Follow our Facebook and Twitter pages for updates.
Cameron Craine, Tom Ceillam (captain), Jacob Pinkney, Brad Webb, Nick Merrien, Matt Thomas, Dom Rice, Courtney Raymond; Jake O’Connor, Owen Thomas, Luke Sayer, Blair Campbell, Tom Teasdale, Anthony Armstrong, Joe Andresen.
Replacements: Layton Batiste, Leon Gardner, Matt Armstrong.