ANDY CHESTERS is hoping he will get another chance to push his Plymouth Albion claims when the club entertain Newton Abbot on Friday night at Brickfields (7.30pm).
The match will be Albion’s final warm-up fixture before they open their National One campaign against Richmond on September 5.
Back-row forward Chesters, a signing from Launceston, has been playing catch-up this summer after undergoing surgery to repair a ruptured tendon in his heel at the end of last season.
The 23-year-old returned to pre-season training a month after most of his team-mates.
However, he has made good progress in recent weeks and came through a full 80 minutes for Albion’s development team against Weston-super-Mare on Saturday.
Chesters, who had not played since April 11, captained the young Albion XV to a 23-17 win over their Somerset opponents.
“It was good. It was hot and the game was free-flowing – it was perfect.”
Chesters, who also played for Hartpury College, is now keen for another run out against Newton Abbot.
“I am really hoping I can push for a place in that,” he said.
Chesters, at 23, was the oldest in the Albion XV that faced a physical Weston-super-Mare side.
“We were a bit mix-and-match,” he said. “A few of the Plymouth University boys came in, but they moulded really well.
“It was an extremely young team, but we did well. We fronted up – we tackled well and defensively we were good.
“Attacking we were probably a bit looser than we would have liked, but with so many new players coming in and so many young players I thought we put in a good performance.”
Chesters enjoyed the experience of captaining the young team.
“I don’t mind doing that,” he said. “I like taking responsibility on and with a young team I relished the opportunity.”
Chesters, along with Chris Courtier and Elliot Bale, were the only senior players in the Albion XV, but all three led from the front.
“We were hoping we could give a bit of guidance,” said Chesters. “We put in a good performance and got the win, which is what we wanted.
“Everyone’s in the same boat, we’re all fighting for places in that first team, but I thought everyone really took their chance.”
Meanwhile, Albion have allowed Courtier and Cameron Thompson, who both featured in the back-row against Weston-super-Mare, to play for an Exeter Chiefs’ XV against Exmouth tonight.
Ivybridge players Jordan Anderton and Dom Loomes will also play for the Chiefs, while Ben Hawley, who has featured as a replacement in Albion’s pre-season games against Bedford and Jersey, will start for Exmouth.