PLYMOUTH Albion’s director of rugby Graham Dawe is hoping South African forward David Fisher will be able to make dents in National One defences this season.
The former Natal Sharks Under-21 player joined up with Albion on Monday, as Sports Gazette predicted, but he was only officially confirmed as a new signing this morning ahead of the club’s ‘Meet the Players Evening’ tonight.
Fisher, who stands at 6ft 3in and weighs in at more than 18 stone, can play lock or flanker.
Dawe sees the 22-year-old as someone who can take the pressure off Herbie Stupple as the go-to ball carrier at Albion.
“David will bring scrum and line-out ability, but primarily he will be someone to share the work-load as a principle ball carrier,” said Dawe.
“Hopefully, he’ll be someone to make a dent in opposition defences and maybe go that extra two or three metres. That will make it a lot easier for our half-backs to shape the side.”
Dawe’s long-standing contacts in Natal recommended Durban-born Fisher to him.
“I have had good reports,” said the Albion boss.
“However, Dave is only a young fella and he’s got to adapt and fit into the team, but hopefully he can do that sooner rather than later.”
Fisher, who only turned 22 in June, qualifies for a British passport via his mother’s side of the family. He is the fourth player born and brought up overseas to sign a contract with Albion for this coming season, following Australians Marc Koteczky and Ethan Ford and New Zealander James Penman.
Albion have had a number of South African players since the club went professional in the late 1990s.
Here is a list of those born and brought up in South Africa who have played a competitive league or cup rugby for the club since 1999.
Regardt van Eyk
John Henry Brown
*(Marc Farr was on the bench for a game but did not take to the field, Steve Barretto was brought up in South Africa and played for Natal under-19s but was born in England, Jane du Toit was born in Namibia, while Iain Grieve was born in Botswana. Albion also had Darren de Leur and Kevin Francis in their squad one season but they never made a first team appearance)