The 1st XV and 2nd XV play their final pre-season friendlies against their fiercest and nearest rivals Portsmouth at Rugby Camp, Hilsea tomorrow (2nd September) writes Brian Seeney.

The 2nd XV's game will kick off at 1.30pm and the 1st XV at 3pm giving interim Head Coach Simon Pickett a chance to see both squads in action as he continues the build-up to the 1st XV's first London 2 South West game against Winchester on Saturday 9th September at Gosport Park (3pm).

"I pushed for these kick-off times so that I can see 30+ players in action for a full 80 minutes," said Pickett, who took charge in mid-August after Head Coach Barry Bridgman temporarily stepped down from his duties for personal family reasons.

"There is an opportunity for every player if they are willing to work hard, to show they want to be in the first team.

"I've been involved with quite a few derbies with Portsmouth as player (here) when we were in the same leagues and there have been some hairy affairs between the two.

"I think we will find out a lot about individual players who will understand what a derby with Portsmouth means.

"There will be a few of our guys who will be a bit surprised to see what a derby between us and Portsmouth really means.

"We are looking at what our probables and possibles will be for the first game against Winchester."


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