Lavery: Rosslyn Park clash not a dead rubber

Ampthill travel to Rosslyn Park today
Ampthill travel to Rosslyn Park today

Ampthill travel to Rosslyn Park this afternoon for the final fixture in a season that has seen them finish third in National One, the highest league position in the clubs history.

However, despite having nothing to play for, director of rugby Mark Lavery wants his side to finish well, saying: "27th out of 1,809 rugby clubs nationwide, that’s not bad is it, really?

"But, the season’s not over yet. The game; is it in danger of becoming a dead rubber? I don’t think so, we’ve got a proud playing group, and it’s important to finish strongly and take some momentum into next year, we need to finish on a high.

“Next season, the London clubs won’t under perform as they have this year, Coventry and Plymouth will continue to invest in their playing staff, it’s going to tough.

"We’ll need to be better than we were this year, we need to keep improving."

Ampthill’s pack sees duel-registered loosehead prop Ralph Adams-Hale return to the front row alongside tighthead Matt Collins and hooker Aleki Lutui, one of three former Tongan international forwards starting for the A’s.

Ben Gulliver joins Paino Hehea in the second row with Matt Burke [blindside] and Joe Bercis [openside] on either flank, and Maama Molitika at number eight.

Former England 7’s skipper Kevin Barrett returns at scrum half inside Mickey Wilson at 10, Elliott Reeder [12] and Sam Hanks [13] start in the centre; Sam Baker [left] and Pete Weightman [right] on either wing, Stef Jones at full back.

Lavery added: "We think the game will be won and lost up front. That’s why we’ve gone for a 4:1 split on the bench in favour of the forwards."

Props James Wright and Toby Trinder join Bath duel-registered wing forward Syd Blackmore and Loti Molitika offering forward cover with Gav Williams cover to the back line.