CHRIS COURTIER has not joined Plymouth Albion just to be a squad player.
The 21-year-old back-row forward, who is one of seven players to have moved to Brickfields from Launceston, wants to become a regular in Albion’s National One match-day squad in 2015/16.
“I’m really pleased to have joined Albion,” said Courtier. “My goal is to have a good season and try and be in the 20, if not the (starting) 15, most weeks.
“I will be training and playing really hard to try and do that.”
He added: “Six or eight are my positions, but I am not really too fuzzed where I play just as long as I’m playing.”
Courtier spent last summer training with Albion and even appeared in their official team picture before returning to Launceston.
“Last year was just a pre-season,” said Courtier. “It was a case of just trying to get my face around and get into a professional environment – see what it was like to train full-time.
“If the opportunity (to sign for Albion) had of come then I would have grabbed it with both hands. It would have been a brilliant experience, but I didn’t really set my sights on it because I wasn’t told I would have the opportunity. I knew I was going to go back to Launceston, but I really enjoyed the experience.”
Courtier, who has made 29 appearances (16 starts) in two seasons for Launceston in National Two South, knows moving to Albion will be a big step up for him.
“I think between National Two and National One there is quite a big step up, as you have some full-timers. It (National One) is almost professional,” he said.
Courtier spent three years at Bicton College doing a BTEC in sport, but for the past year he has been working on his family farm while playing for Launceston.
He lives at Okehampton and is travelling to Plymouth each day.
“Commuting takes an hour or so,” said Courtier. “It is doable but it is quite hard sometimes, especially when you are tired on a night and then have to get back here first thing in a morning.”
Courtier will be hoping to be in the Albion party which will play Jersey in a fortnight’s time at St Peter.
Director of rugby Graham Dawe has confirmed that the club will only be taking a squad of 24 to the Channel Islands for their opening pre-season match.
Jersey are helping to sponsor Albion’s trip, which Plymouth are grateful for, but there are still costs involved for the city side and so they have to set a limit for their travelling party.
However, players who do not travel to St Peter should feature against either Weston-super-Mare or Bedford Blues on August 22.