TAMAR Saracens coach Stuart Busfield believes playing at Brickfields on Saturday as part of Plymouth Albion’s ‘Festival of Rugby’ is a great way for his club to showcase themselves.
Saracens will take on fellow Plymouth Combination side Old Techs at 3pm. The two teams have swapped places in league rugby, with Saracens winning promotion from Devon Two last season and Old Techs dropping out of Devon One.
The match will be one of four that will be played at Brickfields on Saturday.
The first fixture will see an Albion development XV take on Weston-super-Mare (1.15pm), then Tamar Saracens will play Old Techs, before Albion’s first team host Bedford Blues (5pm) and DHSOB end the festival with a match against Cornish side Camelford.
“We are looking forward to playing at Plymouth Albion,” said Busfield, a former Albion player himself.
“It will be really good for the players who have not played in that type of environment before.
“They will also have the chance to meet the Albion players and speak to Graham Dawe.
“And we see this weekend as a great opportunity to showcase what we are doing as a club. We are really ambitious and we played some really good rugby in Devon Two last season.
“Last year we played teams from the Devon/Cornwall League and more than held our own.
“We’ve got a really good atmosphere going on at Tamar Saracens at the moment.”
They have already had four or five players join them this summer because they said they like the club’s style of rugby. They have also just launched an under-11s side.
Busfield says having four or five really experienced players who could be turning out at a higher level has helped his team, but he knows Old Techs will be keen to prove a point on Saturday following their relegation to Devon Two.
“They’ll have a massive point to prove,” said Busfield.
“We are using this game as a big benchmark for how we will do in Devon One.
“They (Old Techs) were unfortunate to get relegated, while we got promoted. The game will give us an idea of how we might do this season.”
He added: “But the good thing about Plymouth is that there is a real rugby family. We are not just looking forward to our game but also us all getting together afterwards and watching Albion play. We all want to see them do well as it’s good for Plymouth rugby.”
Devon Two side DHSOB are also looking forward to playing at Brickfields on Saturday. They take on Cornwall Two outfit Camelford.
“Like us, Camelford are really keen to take part,” said Old Boys’ director of rugby Mike Freeman. “It should be a really good occasion.”
DHSOB are hoping to link up with the Plymouth Fiji rugby team and could include a number of the South Sea Islanders this weekend.
The following week, DHSOB, Tamar Saracens and Old Techs will meet up again for the Paul Lethbridge Memorial Day at Ernesettle.
Lethbridge, who died in 2013 at the age of just 47, played for all three clubs. Since 2013, the trio of sides have got together once a year to play each other in a three-way fixture, with most fielding veteran sides of players who played with Lethbridge.
This year’s event takes place on August 30. The senior action will start at 1pm but before that at noon, Tamar Saracens new under-11s team will play.
The clubs want it to be a family day and, like last year, there will be a bouncy castle and hog roast.