Holidays over - now Chichester rugby stars prepare for play-off push

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Following Christmas and new-year indulgence, Chichester have just two training sessions before their game at Sutton and Epsom on Saturday.

Following Christmas and new-year indulgence, Chichester have just two training sessions before their game at Sutton and Epsom on Saturday.

It’s a challenging fixture as the Surrey team has improved considerably and recently beaten Portsmouth and drawn with second-placed London Irish Amateur.

They will be keen to beat the Blues after their 34-7 loss at Oaklands Park in September.

Chichester hope to be at full strength and to continue their good form.

Their home record of seven wins and one defeat speaks for itself but winning away must be the principal aim.

They have so far won a game at Hove, drawn two and lost two on their travels.

They will be out to improve on this to give themselves a chance of finishing in second place and a promotion play-off.

The top spot will almost certainly go to Tonbridge Juddians who have prospered from recruiting some professional players from the National leagues.

Other key games at Oaklands will be against Hove on January 15, London Irish on January 29 and Dover on Februaty 19.

On the injury front, Richard Deed is likely to be sidelined for the rest of the season after breaking his leg in an unfortunate training collision.

Billy Toone should soon recover from minor knee surgery and Tom Polhill is back after a foot problem.

Competition for places is stronger than ever, especially among the forwards. Underpinned by the second XV winning all their matches, optimism is justified.

But all the players will understand that it would be easy to lose concentration and slip up against any of the teams they face in London one south.

Local sport fans are urged to pop along to one of the home games and watch good amateur rugby.

All support is welcome and you will find friends and refreshment in the clubhouse bar.

ROGER GOULD