Hartpury prop duo close to returning

Student rugby is certainly going well at Hartpury right now.

The Under-18 squad won their eighth national AASE championship in nine seasons this past week, while the university side, after a slow start to the season, made it back-to-back wins by beating Loughborough University at home on Wednesday night.

There is also some encouraging news on the injury front for Hartpury’s Greene King IPA Championship squad.

It is understood that props Rupert Harden and Mike Daniels – both players with Premiership pedigree – will be fit to return to the squad at some point during December.

It has also been revealed that the facial injury to flanker Rob Langley – although still serious enough to warrant a lengthy
lay-off – does not require surgery, meaning that he could be back in training by January.

Hooker Will Tanner did pick up a knock last weekend, but it is hoped that it will not lead to a long absence.

Hartpury’s recent league form, a run of four defeats culminating in a 31-7 home defeat to second-placed Ealing, is a cause for concern, but director of rugby John Barnes has seen enough in recent weeks to remain optimistic.

“We were very much in the game and level on the scoreboard for virtually all of the first half against Trailfinders,” he said.

“Then an individual error means that we go into half-time behind and, after the break, a poor kick and a simple missed tackle lets them in again. Suddenly we are 21-7 down and that’s ‘game over’ against a side of Ealing’s quality.

“I’m confident that if we can eliminate those individual mistakes we will start to win more games at this level on a consistent basis.”

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.