NOT too many 18-year-olds have played league rugby for Plymouth Albion over the years.
However, last weekend, Albion handed three their debuts in the same match.
Prop Ollie Dawe and wing Harrison Cully both started Plymouth’s opening day fixture against Richmond, while full-back Tom Putt came on at half-time as Albion won 33-20.
“From my point of view I don’t think age is a factor,” said Dawe, who at 18 years and 186 days was the oldest and the only forward of the trio. “If you are good enough, you are good enough, no matter what age you are.
“I have been chucked in the deep end a few times and I don’t think it’s a massive thing stepping into a National One game. I’m a strong boy, so I managed to scrum right.”
Dawe, Cully and Putt have all played together before at academy and age group level.
“I played with them two at the Chiefs for two years,” said Dawe. “They are good boys and they, like me, have come down here to develop. We have all heard good things about this club and for us to come down here and play rugby is great.”
Dawe, Cully and Putt are following in quite good company in making their league debuts for Albion at just 18. Among the other players to have done that in this century are Jack Arnott, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Henry Slade, Jack Nowell, Dan Lee, Sam Matavesi, Tom Arscott and Chris Bell.
“Hopefully, we can all do as well them,” said Dawe.
The young Devon prop loved his first taste of National League rugby at Brickfields.
“I really enjoyed it,” he said. “It was good to have a first-hit out of the season and get a win – it was really enjoyable.
“There was a really good atmosphere. I was quite surprised by it. There was a massive raw.
“The fans got behind us so well and it was a massive factor in the game. For them to get behind us like that really gave the team a boost.”
Albion face a tough test this Saturday when they host Rosslyn Park at Brickfields. The London club have finished runners-up in National One for the past two seasons.
“It’s a massive game this weekend,” said Dawe. “We’ve got Rosslyn Park, who are big contenders to win the league, but we’ve just got to go out hard.”