GRAHAM DAWE is hoping players will take their chance to prove a point tonight when Plymouth Albion’s development team take on Taunton A at Brickfields (7.30pm).
The likes of Matt Shepherd, Robin Wedlake, Rupert Freestone, Dan Pullinger, Andy Chesters, Seti Raumakita and Gregory Sebastien, who have all been on the bench for the first team in recent weeks, are included in the Albion side.
Also set to feature is lock Shek Sherrif, who is making his comeback after dislocating shoulder three weeks ago.
The two teams met earlier this month, with Albion winning 18-10 in Somerset thanks to two tries, a conversion and two penalties from Shepherd.
“We’re looking forward to the game,” said Dawe. “Taunton gave us a real run for our money recently at their place. It was a very competitive fixture and this is another game for our development team to get their teeth into.
“We’ve got a lot of players who need game-time to prove to selectors they should be in the first team and that’s what we want, but we want them to do it within the team environment and culture.
“There’s a lot of players pressing their claims and if they keep doing it in a minute they are going to get the nod.”
Albion, though, are without a specialist fly-half for tonight’s match as Elliot Bale is out injured.
Scrum-half Dan Goldstone will wear the number 10 shirt.
Bale has been troubled with problems with the lining of his knee for a couple of months.
“It’s been frustrating as we want him challenging. He’s been training but then needs an enforced break. This might not be the end of the issue totally but, hopefully, this season he will be okay.
“He should be back in full training next Monday.”
Tonight will be Albion’s fourth development fixture in eight weeks. They will also play Exmouth A at Brickfields on December 8 and are pencilled in to travel over the Tamar to play the Cornwall development on December 21.
ALBION TEAM TO FACE TAUNTON A
15 Jordan Shakespeare
14 Ian Davidson
13 Conrad Anderson
12 Jon Dawe
11 Robin Wedlake
10 Dan Goldstone
9 Matt Shepherd
1 Dean Brooker
2 Rupert Freestone
3 Dan Pullinger
4 Paul Hamber
5 Shek Sherrif
6 Andy Chesters (capt)
7 Seti Raumakita
8 Gregory Sebastien
Reps: Curtis Reynolds, Rory Briers, Tom Brown, Ben Hawley, Will Slater, Noah Nash, George Hodgson.