BASINGSTOKE RFC will hope to carry on in a winning vein as they open 2017, with a visit from Old Cranleighans on Saturday.

Stoke won their final two outings in 2016 and will be looking to avenge an early season 17-10 defeat in Surrey against side who are third in the London three South West table, one place above Basingstoke.

Looking ahead to the game Stoke skipper Rob Northcote said: “We’re at home this weekend and when we played Cranleighans away we probably didn’t take our opportunities as much as we should have.

“It was early into the season and I think we were still finding our feet with our playing style and being able to adapt that to different teams.

“The last fixture saw us take a while to suss them out and I think this was telling factor. This doesn’t take anything away from them because they’re a decent team who have clearly played together for a number of years and have their game plan nailed.”

Northcote added: “This weekend will be a tough test for us and January in itself will be a hard month with three tough games.”