Plymouth Albion / Rugby

Collier’s got his love back for rugby at Albion this season

Dan CollierDAN COLLIER says he has got his love back for rugby this season at Plymouth Albion.

The experienced lock, the only player over the age of 28 in Albion’s squad, hardly played any league rugby for three years after leaving Brickfields in 2012.

But he decided to give the sport one more go in the summer and impressed director of rugby Graham Dawe during a pre-season trial at the club where he spent three years between 2009-2012.

He has started 13 of Albion’s 18 National One matches this term and has scored tries in his last two games, including one on Saturday as Plymouth came back from 26-10 down to beat Fylde 38-26.

Collier’s try in Lancashire came after he kicked forward a loose ball on the 22 metre line and won the race to ground it.

The 31-year-old admitted he could not remember scoring a similar try in his career, which has included spells at London Welsh, Manchester and Ealing.

“It was good,” he laughed. “I do feel I am getting better and better, which is a good thing. I have missed it. This is how I used to be when I was younger.

“I feel I am getting the vibe back of how I used to be when I was younger. I am enjoying it a lot more now.”

Collier certainly enjoyed winning on Saturday in a game that looked beyond Albion, who had under-performed for 60 minutes.

“The last 20 minutes were amazing,” said Collier. “We all dug in at the end of the day and re-wrote all the wrongs of the first half really.

“It showed true character after that first half, where things weren’t going right for us.

“The boys dug in and stuck at it and everyone was happy. There was certainly a good vibe in the changing room afterwards.”

Collier said Albion’s goal at half-time was just to play better than they had in the opening 40 minutes.

“It was just literally a case of stick your head down and try and re-write all the wrongs of the first half,” he said.  “We were just trying to build scores.

“You have to go into the second half thinking it is 0-0 and just try and get points.”

Collier was back in Albion’s starting line-up at Fylde after two matches on the bench after returning from an infection in his hand.

Fellow lock Ed Holmes had previously had to sit on the bench after missing the game at Wharfedale, with Nile Dacres impressing in the second-row having switched from flanker.

Competition for back five places in the scrum is pretty hot when everyone is available, which Collier feels his helping the team.

“It is good,” he said. “If you don’t have competition you are not going to work as hard. You need that person behind you pushing you and pushing on the back of your heels.”

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