Home victory essential for Queen’s

Queen's Zac McCall
Queen's Zac McCall

Queen’s have gone from promotion contenders to needing a win at home to Barnhall on the final day to preserve their Division 2A status.

The students have slipped to eighth after losing three and drawing one of their last four.

Barnhall also need to win as they are a place and two points behind the students, a defeat for Queen’s would mean they would need other results to go their way but Director of Rugby Robbie Moore is just focusing on the victory that will guarantee safety.

“It shouldn’t have come to this and I’ve been about long enough to know anything can happen and we won’t be counting our chickens,” said Moore.

“You need to get your points earlier in the season and we had ample opportunities to do that and now we have been left a big task.”

Queen’s are boosted by having a number of represented players available although still have a few fitness doubts.

Ireland U20 hooker Zac McCall is available as is lock Alex Thompson although Nigel Simpson is a doubt with a shoulder problem.

In the backrow, Ryan Clarke (thumb), Stuart Hooks (groin) and Josh Atkinson (elbow) all face fitness tests while Lorcan Dow is available.

Behind the scrum Ulster Ravens half back duo Conor Young and Sean O’Hagan are released and are vying for start positions with Connor Spence and Ali Wright. Conor McKee is a doubt with a hamstring injury while Jack Owens could feature.

City of Derry could still be playing tier three rugby next season but they need a chain of results to go their way.

Terry McMaster’s side go into the final day in 12th, they must beat Seapoint at Kilbogget Park and score at least four tries and hope Barnhall get no match points at the Dub and Blackrock win at UCC.

Experienced out half Richard McCarter returns for Derry and is partered at half back by Stuart Simpson.

Captain David Funson is partnered in midfield by Adam Bratton.

Peter Henderson is at full back with David Graham and Jack Beattie on the wings.

In the pack Ross Harkin and Chris Shields prop with David Ferguson in the middle of the front row.

Chris Cooper and David Houston form the second row partnership, while Stephen Corr, Richard Baird and Stephen Ferguson form a powerful backrow.

The experienced Bob McKillop is on the bench, Dungannon will hope to finish off with a win as they face Bective at Stevenson Park.