NEWBURY BLUES will be hoping for a Christmas derby boost when they face old rivals Reading at Monks Lane on Saturday.
With 200 sponsors booked in for lunch alone, Blues are expecting a packed house for the game against the side holding up the rest of South West One East.
But head coach Lee Goodall has warned not to expect an easy ride for is promotion-chasers against a side battling for its existence in the division.
“You can take league positions out of it, take where we are out of it, take tries scored out it and take bonus points out of it,” he said.
“In the cold, hard light of day, this is a local derby where a team that’s sat bottom is out to kick-start their season, and what better way than to come to Newbury where we may be susceptible.”
Reading have won only twice this season and are eight points adrift of a safety spot but, said Goodall: “I still believe that every team in this league is capable of beating everyone on their day, and although we will be confident after beating Oxford Harlequins last week, we’ve got to be wary of over--confidence, which is detrimental to how you can play.”
Blues will still be without injured skipper Dan Thorne while brother Toby and back row Alex Millar face fitness tests after sustaining ‘dead’ legs in last week’s game.