‘A LOT of players’ will be wearing the Plymouth Albion jersey for the final time on Saturday when they entertain Doncaster Knights in their last match of a troubled season (3pm).
Albion only have pride to play for this weekend after their relegation from the Championship to National One was confirmed last Saturday with defeat at Moseley.
Plymouth’s new director of rugby Graham Dawe hopes the team can go out on a high, but admits supporters are unlikely to see many of them running out at Brickfields next term.
It appears the majority of the squad want to stay in the Championship with other clubs rather than try to help get Albion back up to the second tier.
“A lot of players will be playing in their last match, but that is part and parcel of professional rugby nowadays,” said Dawe, who has been brought in to try and stabilise Albion for a second time in 16 years.
“Saturday will be quite an emotional day, but life has to go on.
“We have a tremendous opportunity to sign off with a win, but more importantly with a good performance from the players. Hopefully, we will get a good crowd to witness it as well.”
He added: “I would really like to think a good crowd will come. We’ve had a great spell of weather I would imagine people will want to get out. It would be great if people did get out and come down to witness this game.
“Like I said, we would love to finish with a good performance and a good result. Then we look forward to next season.”
Their opponents on Saturday, Doncaster, should serve as inspiration for Albion. They were relegated in 2013 but made an immediate return last year and have proved more than competitive in their first season back.
The Knights, who reached the British & Irish Cup final, can boost four ex-Albion players in their squad – Bevon Armitage, Tyson Lewis, Tyler Hotson and Paul Roberts.
Dawe expects big performances from them, if they are selected to play against their former side.
“You can always guarantee a performance from an ex-Plymouth Albion player coming back to Brickfields. That has been proved many, many times,” said Dawe.
Albion have not won since beating Jersey on February 21 and last week could not even manage a point against Moseley, despite having plenty of possession and territory.
Dawe hopes Plymouth, who have only scored 25 tries in 21 league games, can finally find a cutting edge in their last match.
“Looking at the DVD from last week, we controlled large parts of the game,” said Dawe. “But we have to play with better continuity and deliver some good ball for the backs.”
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