“We've had a good week, we know what we need to do on Saturday, so we have concentrated on us and ensured we get those areas that will be important right.”
Matt Salter, Head Coach
Will Pomphery will make his final appearance for Clifton this Saturday as he calls time on his long career with the Lavender & Blacks whilst Mitch Spencer will make his 100th appearance when he runs out at Station Road against local rivals Old Reds in the final game of the 2019 season.
Spencer joined the club in 2014 from Hartpury having had a previous spell at Dings Crusaders and has become one of the most respected and senior players at the club. Spencer has captained the squad on numerous occasions and his form this season has seen him produce some of his best, with notable solo scores against Dings and Canterbury.
Pomphery will retire at the end of the season after having made his 180th league appearance against Old Reds and having scored 80 tries over a long career at Station Road, both National 2 records for a Clifton player. Pomphery will also retire as one of the top ten try scorers in National League 2 to date. His stats have continued to impress this season, despite injuries preventing more game time, scoring 15 tries in 15 appearances. His ability to finish scoring opportunities out of very little and strength in the collisions are attributes that have long kept him in contention over the seasons. He will be missed by all at the club and everyone at Clifton wishes Will luck for the future and hope to see him turning out for the Wanderers from time to time.
Looking ahead to the weekend, Matt Salter has picked his strongest side available for the visit of Old Reds. Clifton sneaked a 17-14 win in the first round of the season and will be looking to cement the 6th place in the league come the final whistle tomorrow.
The side shows 11 changes from the team that took the field against Reds in September, with Callum Simpson and Jack Spencer either side of Jack Williams in the front row. Henry Harper continues in the second row and is partnered with Shek Sheriff, who was impressive coming off the bench for Gloucester A against Bath United a few weeks ago.
The back row sees Gloucester Academy flanker Cam Terry return for what will also be his final game for Clifton as he moves on next year at 7, with Dan Hill at 6 whilst Niall Gibbons wears 8.
Spencer starts at 9 with Luke Cozins at 10 whilst Sam Goatley and Captain Chris Levesley resuming their partnership in the centers. Pomphery links up in the back 3 with Gloucester Academy's Tom Stanton on the right wing and Alex Lambert is picked at 15.
The bench sees Beno Edwards, Mark Roberts and Matty Davies cover the pack whilst Ross Pritchard and Tom Francis round out the 20.
Gloucester Academy winger Jake Morris is unavailable as he starts for England U20 against South Africa on Friday night in Coventry.
"We've had a good week, we've probably gone harder this week than previously because we know what we want to achieve on Saturday, it's about us, if we concentrate on the areas of the game we know we can affect and are accurate, we will be in a good place."
Matt Salter, Head Coach
Clifton's derby against Old Reds follows a charity game involving a Clifton Invitational XV v PROPS XV.
PROPS are a local Charity dedicated to supporting adults with learning difficulties to gain work skills and put them into practice within a number of our projects and enterprises. Kick off at 12:00
Clifton Rugby v Old Redcliffians | Saturday 27th April 2019 | Kick Off: 15:00
1.Callum Simpson 2. Jack Williams 3. Jack Spencer 4. Henry Harper 5. Shek Sheriff 6. Dan Hill 7. Cam Terry 8. Niall Gibbons 9. Mitch Spencer 10. Luke Cozins 11. Will Pomphery 12. Sam Goatley 13. Chris Levesley 14. Tom Stanton 15. Alex Lambert
Bench: 16. Mark Roberts 17. Beno Edwards 18. Matty Davies 19. Ross Pritchard 20. Tom Francis
Updated 18:43 - 6 May 2019 by Les Robinson