WITH the Christmas hangover now well and truly behind them, Dorchester’s first XV return to Wadworth 6X Dorset & Wilts One South action on Saturday at Coburg Road against North Dorset Seconds (2.15pm).

Dorchester currently sit atop the table and North Dorset lie ninth, however this could prove to be a tricky game for the home side.

Due to injuries Dorchester have made a few changes to the pack, with Dave Rawles stepping back into the side at loosehead prop, James Bryant-Harries comes into the back row and the second row partnership of Lee King and Adam Makepeace return to action.

Following a great game in the Shield knockout competition for the A XV, Tom Bradbury makes his debut for the first team starting at scrum-half.

Second XV vice-captain Laurence Burch moves onto the bench following his trademark strong performances for the A XV.

Head coach Ben Parker commented after training on Tuesday evening: “Training has been a little frustrating after Christmas, with the cobwebs in need of a big clear out. Everyone is now back and we have had the biggest numbers all season for the past two weeks.

“We now have a clear vision for the second half of the season for all three senior teams, and we know that the next four games for the first XV are vital to maintain our top spot in the league.

“North Dorset will travel well with a strong side and we are under no illusion that this will be an easy game.

“We aim to start strong and maintain our performance, not giving their backs any space to run into. If we stick to our gameplan there is no reason why we cannot earn another five points this Saturday, but we will have to work hard for them.”

In other games this weekend Dorchester’s A XV move back into league action away to East Dorset and the third XV Gladiators travel to Ringwood & Ellingham. Both teams take strong sides and aim to restart their league campaigns with wins.

Sunday has the junior section in action with plenty to see at Coburg Road. Under-12s under-14s and under-16s all have Dorset & Wilts cup games against Oakmeadians, Bridport and Weymouth respectively.

n Weymouth and Portland are in action away to Wimborne Seconds, while Bridport host Swanage and Wareham Seconds at the Brewery Ground.