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Dorset & Wilts target Twickenham trip
5:50am Friday 11th May 2012 in Rugby
DORSET & Wilts will be hoping to bounce back from their first defeat in two years when they take on Berkshire in the RFU County Championship Shield tomorrow.
The defending champions lost their opening match 27-14 away at Oxfordshire, and need to win if they are going to have any chance of progressing to the knockout stages where they will face Leicestershire.
Don Parsons’ side are boosted by the return of several key players who missed the Oxfordshire game in order to represent their clubs in league play-off games, and the full strength side must beat Berkshire by more than 17 points and not allow them to pick up a try bonus point.
“It’s all to play for and with the players who were not available for the Oxfordshire match we’re hoping to pick a first choice 15,” Parsons said.
“It will take a tremendous team effort if we are to progress into the latter stages of this competition and make it to our third successive Twickenham final.
“Losing our first pool game against Oxfordshire was a big blow, however last weekend Berkshire beat Oxfordshire so it has left the door open for us, quite simply if we win by a clear 17 points, or win and score four tries we should go through.”
Berkshire, led by Bracknell centre Ben Nowak, arrive buoyed up by last Saturday’s opening win but are without match-winning full back Spike Chandler who is unavailable.
Bracknell’s Daniel Antonelli has been called up as cover while the return of wing Will Rasbridge boosts the line-up as does the availability of the pack that started last week’s game.
Head coach Mike Tewkesbury said: “It was a good win last Saturday and we have just got to move forward on that.
“We certainly do have to improve on last week’s performance, but we enjoyed our first game and we’ve just got to replicate that.”