SUS­PENDED DUO CLEARED TO TO RE­TURN BUT IN­JURED FULL-BACK FUS­SELL LOOK­ING AT SIX WEEKS OUT

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Www.kentonline.co.uk/sport -

Ash­ford Rugby Club have been handed mixed news on the in­jury and dis­ci­plinary front ahead of their Lon­don 3 South East home game against Uck­field on Satur­day. Full-back Rhys Fus­sell’s dis­lo­cated shoul­der now looks set to keep him out for up to six weeks rather than four, fol­low­ing a fur­ther check-up at hos­pi­tal, while sus­pended pair Jake Fletcher and James Fitz­patrick are free to play this weekend, fol­low­ing a Kent RFU dis­ci­plinary hear­ing. The pair have served manda­tory sus­pen­sions since be­ing sent-off in the lo­cal derby at Folke­stone be­fore Christ­mas. Fitz­patrick, who pleaded guilty, re­ceived a two-week ban, while Fletcher, who pleaded not guilty, one. Chris Baker, a first team reg­u­lar last sea­son, re­turns in place of Fus­sell, hav­ing re­cov­ered from a long-term ham­string in­jury. Ash­ford start the game sec­ond, a point be­hind lead­ers Thanet Wan­der­ers who host another Sus­sex side Hor­sham, 19-17 win­ners against the Kin­neys Field side a fort­night ago. The game is the first of four suc­ces­sive matches against teams in the lower half of the ta­ble but head coach Gre­gor Dougall is tak­ing noth­ing for granted. He said: “We have to con­cen­trate on good per­for­mances, rather than worry about re­sults. “We have to be pre­cise, have struc­ture in our at­tack­ing play and add so­phis­ti­ca­tion to what we al­ready have in place.” “We must be aware of how other teams play and have spe­cific ways of chang­ing it to make sure we don’t get caught out. “We must make sure we are one step ahead and get our de­ci­sion mak­ing right.”

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