SOUTH African lock David Fisher will make his long-awaited return from injury tonight when Plymouth Albion’s development team travel to National Two South high-flyers Taunton (7.30pm).
Summer arrival Fisher, 22, has yet to feature in National One after damaging his knee in Albion’s final pre-season match in August against Newton Abbot.
But, as expected, he will start tonight in a strong development side that also includes Matt Shepherd, Elliot Bale, Robin Wedlake, Rupert Freestone, Dan Pullinger, Gregory Sebastien and Andy Chesters.
Many of the team like Fisher, Wedlake, Bale and Chesters are coming back from injury and Dawe is hoping they and the rest of the side send out a message to him and the Albion coaching staff this evening at Hyde Park.
“It is the third mid-week game the development side have had and we are looking for more,” said Dawe.
“Having a development team is the lifeblood of Plymouth Albion. We want people who want to play for the side and we want to put the message out that the only way you can get into the first team is by earning that right by playing well in the development side. However, that’s playing well as a team player and not an individual.
“We want the guys in the first team to keep producing the goods, but if we get an injury we want to know we’ve got replacements. And if someone plays better, they get the shirt. We want that competition.
“We want to be all friends and buddies, but a rugby team is built on its competitive edge.”
Fisher is certainly hoping he can push his claims after a frustrating couple of months.
“I can’t wait to get back on the field and do some damage,” he said. “There’s nothing better than match fitness, so I want to stay on the pitch as long as I can.”
Albion: 15 Jordan Shakespeare, 14 Robin Wedlake, 13 Conrad Anderson, 12 Eamon Rees, 11 Ian Davidson, 10 Elliot Bale, 9 Matt Shepherd, 1 Dean Brooker, 2 Rupert Freestone, 3 Dan Pullinger, 4 David Fisher, 5 Shek Sherrif, 6 Gregory Sebastien, 7 Andy Chesters (capt), 8 Chris Courtier. Reps: Curtis Reynolds, Rory Briers, Ben Hawley, Will Slater, Paul Hamber, Jim Massey, Jack Maunder, Dan Goldstone, George Hodgson.