THE Hurricanes have a tough match at the top of Hampshire Premiership table against the side below them in third, Bognor.

Bognor will be seeking revenge against Sandown and Shanklin after they were beaten 36-19 earlier in the campaign.

Following last weeks disappointing postponement by Tottonians RFC, Sandown & Shanklin have had an enforced two-week gap since their last fixture against Millbrook RFC, in which they ran out 19 - 33 victors on the road. 

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Action from last week's Hampshire 1 derby between Isle of Wight and Ventnor at Wootton.  FILE

With the Hurricanes sitting in second place, but level on points with Bognor, thanks to the postponed game last week, this fixture will go some way in determining who has the advantage moving into the final third of the season.

Although top spot is still very possible for both, second place is also important as it attracts a play-off for promotion into the London South West 3 league. 

The Hurricanes go to Bognor at full strength, with the likes of Sam Tyson, Jack Wedderkop, Ben Sanderson, Martin Richomme and Luke Hunter all making returns to the starting line up this afternon (Saturday).

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There is also a return to the bench for Zak Chiverton, who has made a quick recovery with the new injury he sustained against Millbrook.

Two unavailable players are the experienced Sam Rees and Chris Skelley. 

Looking ahead to today's fixture, the Hurricanes' director of rugby, Damien Marriott, said: "This is a great opportunity for this young squad to continue their development, especially from some of the lessons that they have learned in the recent weeks.

"We are taking a coach down, so there will be some great support for the team.

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"I expect and imagine the boys are itching to get out on the field, following last week's disappointing postponement.

"However, they understand the task and the obstacle that stands in their way.

"Bognor are a tough and physical side, so it will be an excellent game."

In Hampshire 1, Isle of Wight, buoyant after their excellent derby win over Ventnor on Saturday, come up against Locksheath Pumas, who will be eager to win after their 19-18 loss to them in October.

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The mainlanders sit one place above IW in Hampshire 1, with two games in hand.

Isle of Wight club secretary, Kieran Leahy, said: "Morale is good in the camp after last week's victory, but the lads know they will need to step it up a gear to win at Pumas.

"We did particularly well without the ball against Ventnor. If we can continue that and also take our chances as they come, we can make it back-to-back wins.

"We'll need to do so if we're going to move any higher up the league table." 

Isle of Wight have no new injury worries, but full-back Martin Smith, a try-scorer last week, is unavailable for selection this afternoon.

Ventnor entertain high-flying Farnborough at Watcombe Bottom today, keen to make up ground on the Isle of Wight, in seventh.

In Hampshire 3, Isle of Wight II remain top of the league with a 100 per cent win record this season after 12 games.

They take on fourth placed Alresford II away.

When they last met in the league in October, Isle of Wight ran out easy 61-5 winners.

Leahy added: "We comprehensively beat tomorrow's hosts last time out, but we're under no illusions about  the challenge.

"Though we won well last time, the scoreline was harsh on them and it will not be an easy task at their ground.

"Alresford have a hefty, experienced pack, and we'll need to ensure we bring the same physical commitment  as in previous games."

Evergreen prop Jim Willetts is away, but Adam Peckham, Dave Hanson and Ross Martin return in contention for a starting berth this afternoon. 

In Hampshire 4, Sandown and Shanklin II entertain Trojans III at The Fairway today.

The Islanders are on a roll, with three impressive wins on the bounce, the latest, last week's 48-10 derby win over Ventnor II. 

Over those three games, the team amassed almost 150 points and conceding only 36, thanks to the impressive form of young Hurricane, Rob Newton Jnr, who scored two hat-tricks and seven tries in total.

Newton has also shown impressive defensive skills for such a young man in the midfield.

Another stand-out performer has been flanker, Dan Sayers, who has been an ever-present in the side this season.

While Sayers has been in equally impressive scoring form over the season, his defensive work rate and tackling has really seen him shine. 

The team will be without Newton and Greg Dean. However, this will more than likely present an opportunity for someone else to stake a claim in the side. 

Ventnor II will be away at second bottom Fawley II.