They may have been away for a year but the Titans know what to expect.

Article published:
November 3, 2018

Taunton Titans haven't faced Barnes RFC since the 2016 - 2017 season but will know what to expect when they make the journey to the capital this Saturday. In that season Barnes were relegated after finishing second from bottom on the same points as Barnstaple who only survived on games won and the fact that London Welsh went into administration and were relegated to the lowest league possible which meant only 5 teams were relegated from the National 2 leagues instead of the normal 6.

In the two fixtures that season Taunton manged to sneak a win at Barnes winning 27 - 35 running in 5 tries through Tom Popham, Nathan Huntley, Freddie Fraser, Jack Claydon and Gary Kingdom, with Gary kicking the rest of the points. In the first meeting Taunton had to come from behind and had to do the same twice in the return fixture when the game ended in a draw 31 - 31 in the first week of the New Year. In that game both teams got 3 points scoring 5 tries apiece with the Titans scores coming from Nick Mason, Sean Lonsdale, Conor Harbison, Jon Gatford & Jack Owlett with the rest coming from the boot of Kingdom once again. This weekend out of those 10 different try scorers the Titans can only call on 3 of those players who would be available for selection, Fraser, Mason & Kingdom. However someone that could play that scored for the Titans that season in Conor Harbison who went to London the following year for work and played for Barnes in their promotion winning team.

So look out for the mad Irish man in and around the Barnes area on Saturday

Photo Courtesy of Bob Bradford

So far this season Barnes have won 4 and lost 5 but have picked up 5 bonus points this season with 3 of those being losing bonus points showing that they are competitive in all there games even claiming a losing bonus against the high flying Rams. So the Titans will be travelling knowing they will need to be at their best to get a positive result. With that in mind the coaches have made a few changes from last weekend. In comes Sam Williams who replaces the injured Alex Spurdle with Chris Francis coming on the bench. The only other change in the forwards is in the back row which sees Ratu Vakalutukali coming back into 6 with Dan Lee moving to the bench and Jarrard Hayler starting at 8 for Sam Prior and Max Norey getting his chance at openside. In the backs with winger Aron Struminski on International duty with Poland this weekend when they take on Lithuania in the European Championship, there is one change with Oscar Kolowski coming in for Struminski. The only other change sees Dan Ogden come on to the bench.

1 Connor Baker

2 Sam Williams

3 Isaac Dalton

4 Stu Persey

5 Barrie-John Chapman

6 Ratu Vakalutukali

7 Max Norey

8 Jarrard Hayler

9 Lewis Webb

10 Toby East

11 Oscar Kolowski

12 Nick Mason (Captain)

13 Ollie Rice

14 Noah Sixton

15 Gary Kingdom

16 Chris Francis

17 Alfie Petch

18 Dan Ogden

19 Dan Lee

20 Jacob Nash

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Article published by:

Keith Brooking

Press Officer

Keith's started his career at Newton Abbott, moving to Bath U21's and then onto Exeter. With spells for Wakefield and Cornish All Blacks, Keith returned to Exeter Chiefs for 199 appearances. Joining the Titans as coach from 2012.