SWINDON coach Nick Brooks is preparing his players for a battle of wits when they take on fellow promotion hopefuls Devizes in Southern Counties South tomorrow.

The Wiltshire pair clash at London Road as the third and fourth-placed teams in the division – with victory for Devizes putting a bonus-point win between themselves and Swindon.

However, the hosts were beaten 26-0 the last time they were in action against Swanage & Wareham, while Swindon are unbeaten in their previous eight fixtures.

And with a young XV on the opposite side of the ball, Brooks believes his hybrid group of fresh and experienced players can dictate how the game is played and, therefore, emerge victorious.

He said: “Devizes have had some really good results, so it’s a game that we’re looking forward to.

“We believe they are quite a young, mobile side, so we’ll try and manipulate their game with our more experienced guys.

“We’ll try and draw them in to battles that they’re not used to and use the experience that we do have to upset them.

“The weather will also be a big factor – whether it’s wet or dry, it’s going to be cold.

“With the size of the squad that we’ve got, I would expect us to be quite physical as well.”

Brooks’ men have only failed to win three times in Southern Counties South this season – defeats to Walcot and Swanage & Wareham in the opening weeks of the campaign preceded an 18-18 draw away at Combe Down during the middle of November.

Like all mid-table sides, one of Brooks’ main criticisms of his team is that they sometimes take their foot off the gas when facing teams lower down the table.

Not that he expects that to be the case on Saturday, however.

Brooks said: “I expect it to be a really good game of rugby – if you look at their results, I’m sure they have been looking at ours too, there is a lot to play for.

“They lost their last game, so they will want to respond positively.

“We’re quite guilty of looking at the table and judging the opposition on that rather than putting the massive effort in against the sides lower down.

“But when it comes to the top end of the table, we seem to step up.

“I’m very confident that when we go down the road to Devizes, we can put in the same kind of performance as a few weeks ago against Grove to get the result that we want.”

Elsewhere in Southern Counties South, Swindon College Old Boys take on Corsham.

Royal Wootton Bassett travel to Chippenham in South West One East, and Supermarine host Combe Down II in Dorset & Wilts Two North.