Rugby: Host of faces back for Bournemouth's battle with Dings

Bournemouth Echo: SQUAD BOOST: Bournemouth director of rugby Budge Pountney SQUAD BOOST: Bournemouth director of rugby Budge Pountney

BOSS Budge Pountney believes the return of some familiar faces can refresh Bournemouth’s flailing campaign ahead of a crunch clash at relegation rivals Dings Crusaders.

Lions will look to close the eight-point gap to National Two South safety by beating the team directly above them at Landseer Avenue on Saturday (3pm).

The Chapel Gate outfit hope to welcome back outside-centre Wyn Roberts, lock Rob Fuller, loose-head prop Josh Terry and Jack Metters with Pountney confident the quartet can add impetus to Bournemouth’s relegation battle in Bristol.

Pountney told the Daily Echo: “A number of players came back from injury and unavailability over the Christmas period and, bar one or two, we had a full squad together for the first time for a number of weeks.

“There is a good feel to the group of players and having several faces back makes it feel like a fresh start. Everyone is keen to play.

“We have built a bit of momentum through some good training sessions over the past week or so and, fingers crossed, the game will be on.”

Full-back Karim Lynch, who recently returned from a spell at Henley Hawks, could also be in contention, but Pountney played down the prospect of any further signings over the coming weeks.

“It is difficult to recruit during the season,” he added. “Generally, players commit themselves and don't move around. As a director of rugby I would be disappointed to lose players to another local club at the halfway stage.

“It doesn't really happen unless players move to the area or return to the game after a spell out. We are constantly looking but significant recruitment probably will not happen until the summer now.”

Lions: (from) Veneroso, Higgins, Sutherland, Chislett, Stewart, Drake, Hardcastle, Spikings, Wilford, Manning, Peart, Bovett, Hennings, Khamoian, Rees, Vaughan-Edwards, Booth, Lynch, Roberts, Fuller, Terry, Metters, Carrel, McGowan.

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