Plymouth Albion / Rugby

Freestone keen to help Albion claim vital home win over Fylde

Rupert Freestone

RUPERT FREESTONE is hoping he can help Plymouth Albion to a much-needed home win against Fylde today (3pm).

The Cornwall front-row forward, who re-joined Albion in the summer after three seasons away, makes his second start of the season at hooker in the absence of the injured James Penman.

Albion, who beat Richmond 33-20 in their opening match, go into today’s fixture having narrowly lost their last two games, going down 25-21 away at Hull last weekend and losing 16-15 to last season’s runners-up Rosslyn Park a fortnight ago.

“Every game we play at home we want to win,” said Freestone. “But off the back of two losses we definitely need a win.

“They (Fylde) will be strong, no doubt, but we are strong. We may have had two losses the past two weeks but this is our pitch and we just have to go out and do our job on Saturday.

“I don’t think we really did that last week (at Hull Ionians). We didn’t really execute what we wanted to execute and that showed in the result.

“If we do want we are capable of, then there is no hesitation in my mind that we should win.”

Freestone is glad to be back at Albion. His first spell was cut short when he suffered a serious shoulder injury in a cycling accident in early 2012, which led to him not getting offered a new contract. He took a year out before going on to play for Bristol and Clifton.

“I felt I left under circumstances that I didn’t want to leave under,” said Freestone. “I always felt that if I was offered the opportunity I would come back.”

Freestone, who can play prop or hooker, is enjoying being back at Albion and is keen to take his chance today after getting the nod to start for a second week running. He was on the bench for the first two games.

“I was a bit frustrated to be on the bench two out of the opening three weeks, as obviously you want to be starting,” he said.

“But if you are starting every week then maybe you become complacent, so for my own game and development it is probably a good thing.

“I’m not one to dwell about being on the bench. I would rather try and improve my performances.”

He added: “It’s a shame about two of the results, but I’m confident we have got a good enough squad to really compete this year.”

Meanwhile, Albion fans will have to wait a few more days to see French back-row forward Gregory Sebastien in action.

The 22-year-old, who arrived at the club last week from Lyon, has not made the replacements’ bench for today’s game against Fylde.

Albion’s director of rugby Graham Dawe is keen for him to play in Monday night’s development match against Cornwall before throwing him straight into National One action.

Albion will need his services after this weekend as Royal Navy players Jarrad Hayler and Seti Raumakita go away to the Defence World Cup.

Raumakita, who can play flanker, wing or centre, does make today’s bench, along with Dean Brooker, Dan Pullinger, Andy Chesters and Billy Searle.

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