PLYMOUTH Albion are set to boost their forward options with the arrival of Natal Sharks under-21 player David Fisher.
The 6ft 3in South African, who turned 22 in June, is expected to fly into England on Monday after receiving the necessary paperwork to make his move.
Fisher comes highly recommended and Dawe, who has had links in Natal since his first spell at Albion, is hoping the powerful lock/flanker can adapt to National One rugby.
“We’ll have to see how he shapes up, but he’s an aggressive ball carrier, a good scrummager and a good line-out forward,” said Dawe.
“We just can’t rely on Herbie (Stupple) to make all our big carries all the time, we have to try and utilise all the players and try to get some momentum with a mixed attack.”
Fisher’s arrival comes after Albion lost 43-15 at ambitious Championship outfit Jersey on Saturday evening.
Albion dominated the first 20 minutes and led 15-0 before Jersey hit back to take a 19-15 half-time lead.
However, the home side pulled away in the second half with their forwards dominating.
Five of Jersey’s seven tries came from driving mauls and Dawe admitted his side will be working on improving defending the plays in the next month before their National One campaign starts.
Dawe said: “We could have dealt with the drives a little better, but I’ll take responsibility for not organising that better.”
Albion had only had five weeks of training ahead of the game and Dawe only has four players who spent the whole of last season at the club.
The Plymouth boss admitted he has not been able to work on everything he has wanted to do yet.
“You have to start somewhere and finish somewhere,” he said. “We have tried to get ourselves into reasonable shape.
“It is a longer project than probably most people think it should be.
“But we have to get principles in place and get some hard work done and, to be fair to the guys, they have done that.
“And they did prove to be pretty competitive in a very competitive game.”
Dawe believes his young team, who were missing the likes of Marc Kotezcky, Matt Shepherd, Jon Dawe, Harrison Cully and Jack Maunder, will have learnt from their trip to St Peter.
The Albion boss felt his side took too many risks which resulted in either penalties or losing possession.
“Sometimes you have to take the safer option and play the clock a little bit rather than chase the game,” said Dawe.
“But, hopefully, people will stay with us and back us. We are looking forward to the next two games against Weston-super-Mare and Bedford.”
One player that particularly caught the eye was 20-year-old Royal Navy flanker Jarrad Hayler.
“He’s a very good athlete and a very good rugby player,” said Dawe, when asked about his performance. “He backs himself and to be far he delivered.”
Other new players to impress, included Nile Dacres, who scored Albion’s first try, Ethan Ford, who bagged their second, Robin Wedlake and Tom Bedford.
When asked about who he felt played well, Dawe said: “It’s not for me to pick out people. We are trying to build the culture that it’s a 15-man game.”
Albion will play three more pre-season matches. Their development team will face Weston-super-Mare on August 22 at Brickfields, the same day as the first team play Bedford. Then six days later, Plymouth will entertain Newton Abbot.