Due to forces beyond the control of Bristol Sonics Rugby League, we’ve had to change the venue for tomorrow’s Anglo-Welsh derby against South Wales Hornets, kickoff 2:30pm. The game will now be played at:

Foundry Lane

Since their formation in 2002, the Sonics have yet to register a win in four games against Welsh opposition, losing heavily on each occasion. Yet the last meeting between Bristol and a Welsh side, Torfaen Tigers, was way back in 2004. Since then, the Sonics have risen through the divisions and Head Coach Karl Fearnley believes they’re in good shape to spring a surprise on Saturday.Fearnley said: “We played a few matches against Welsh sides back in the very early days of the club, but we’re a different team now. We’ve been suffering in recent weeks adjusting to the intensity and physical demands of Conference League Three, but every week we’ve been getting better. I expect is to be in a position to really challenge the Hornets on Sunday, though it will be another very tough match. They’re an excellent side.”The Sonics entertain the Hornets – the Conference League Three second team of professional club South Wales Scorpions – on the back of three heavy defeats to Conference League Three pacesetters Warrington Wizards, champions Huddersfield Underbank Rangers and Championship One-bound Hemel Stags. Having plunged to their worst defeat of the season last weekend – a 74-12 loss at Hemel – Fearnley says fans will see an improved performance on Saturday.Fearnley said: “The last few weeks has been a steep learning curve for us. We’ve played arguably the four strongest teams in this league and come up short. Now we’re back at home, there’s quite a few familiar faces back in the squad and I fully expect us to improve dramatically. The rivalry between west country and welsh clubs in sport is such that our lads will be bang up for it on Saturday. It’s our most important game of the season so far.”Fearnley will welcome back a string of first choice forwards for the game on Saturday, including props Matt Douglas, Sammi Charad and Gary Carpenter, second-rower Wayne Cochran – who impressed for the Sonics’ seconds last weekend – and loose forward Joe McKenna (pictured). The latter was released by the Hornets parent club, South Wales Scorpions, before the start of the season.Fearnley believes McKenna will have a point to prove on Saturday. He said: “I know that Joe has no grudges about what happened with the Scorpions, but he’ll be keen to show his worth. He’s an incredibly experienced player, having grown up playing League in Cumbria, and he makes a massive difference when he appears for us. It’s going to be great to welcome him back, as he’s missed the last couple of matches. I know that when things get tough I can rely on him to take the game by the scruff of the neck and put a big shift in.”Saturday’s game also marks the return of the Sonics’ first team to regular home Aretians RFC, after two games at Clifton’s Station Road ground. The Sonics have an impressive record at Little Stoke Park. On their last outing there, they won the Midlands Premier Grand Final against Leicester Storm. In the last three seasons, Bristol have only lost a handful of games at Aretians and will be looking to secure their first victory of the campaign on Saturday.Meanwhile, Bristol Sonics ‘A’ – the club’s second team – face a trip to Swindon St George. Having beaten Somerset Vikings last weekend in their opening fixture, Aran Simm’s side will be looking to avenge a surprise play-off defeat at the hands of Swindon last August. Like the first team’s game, the match kicks off at 2.30pm.Entrance to Bristol Sonics v South Wales Hornets is free. Fans who can’t make the game can follow the action on

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