ROYAL Wootton Bassett’s 17-year-old last-minute match winner Josh Lewanituva will be back in the first team squad this weekend after his dramatic debut.
Lewanituva ran in a 65-metre try and played a hand setting-up another to win the game for Bassett against Reading Abbey last weekend.
This Saturday Bassett play Bletchley at Ballard’s Ash. Head coach Alan Low will be giving opportunities to several players from the second XV, as well as Lewanituva, as he looks to fill the gaps left by eight unavailable first-teamers.
Low is confident that despite the absentees his side will be able to give second-placed Bletchley a tough afternoon.
“The guys that are coming in are pushing the first team and I’m reasonably confident we can can upset Bletchley,” said Low.
“It will enable me and the coaching team to see what the strength in depth of the squad is like.
“They’ll be all guns blazing after their loss to Alchester. It was a fixture rearranged because of bad weather so as a result we’re not reading too much into it because they might have been missing a few players.”
With Bassett comfortably mid-table in Southern Counties North, Low and his fellow coaches had identified a few match-ups at the end of the season to try and blood some young talent. Last week Joe Bryant and Lewanituva came in but such was Lewanituva’s impact he returns to the senior ranks again on Saturday.
“When he stepped into the first team it made him step his game up. Physically he’s miles ahead of the colts and even some of the first team lads. He came on and had an absolute stormer so he’ll be on the bench again this week.”
Sadly the game did not go so well for Bryant, who dislocated his shoulder but after his standout season for the colts further senior opportunities are certain to arise.
This Saturday is also the club’s Vice Presidents Day and Low will looking to harness the increased turn-out at Ballard’s Ash.
“The guys love it. It’ll really good to get a bit of support at the club and give a good account of ourselves.”
Low is looking to build Wootton Bassett up as a club, changing the system in the seniors and building a pathway for the juniors into the adult sides.
From next season Bassett will be putting out a third senior team, where Low is hoping to integrate the current batch of colts and find regular games for the large number of second team players.
The club are looking to recruit extra members and anyone interested should contact rugby manager Steve Milner on 07919 410755.