ANDY CHESTERS hopes he pushed his Plymouth Albion claims with his performance in their last match against Henley Hawks.
The back-row forward made his long-awaited full home debut in Albion’s 27-8 win over the Hawks.
His only previous league start had come away at Hull Ionians in the third match of the season.
“I have obviously had to be very patient in getting my first home start, but I was really happy with my performance,” said Chesters.
“I was really pleased to get quite a few minutes under my belt and just get back into it. I had been on the bench a few times recently but not managed to get on, so I was pleased to get a start against Henley.”
Chesters might have seen more game time had he not got injured earlier in the season.
“In October when Jarrad (Hayler) was away on Navy duty unfortunately I got injured on the Wednesday night at training when I was due to start against Blaydon,” he said.
“So I’ve had to be really patient, but I’m glad to be back in the mix.
“Hopefully, I put in a good performance so I can keep the shirt until the end of the season – that’s the aim.”
Chesters’ injury in October handed Cameron Thompson a chance and he took it and started five games in a row before he then got injured.
Competition for back-row spots is hot this season at Brickfields. Chesters is competing with Herbie Stupple, Nile Dacres, Sam Matavesi, Hayler, Gregory Sebastien and Thompson for places at the back of the scrum, while Seti Raumakita and James Penman can also cover there
“There are five or six of us going for one shirt,” said Chesters. “It was good to get the nod against Henley and, hopefully, I have put down a statement and can keep the shirt.
“I think we are thriving with the competition. We like to think we are all equally as capable, so if one goes down injured another can slot in straight away and do the job for the boys.
“There is competition going on all around the park. It makes us better players and that is probably part of the reason we are on such a long winning streak because everyone is battling for their shirts. When you are given an opportunity you have to take it.”
Despite not making as many appearances as he would have liked after joining from Launceston in the summer, Chesters is enjoying life at Brickfields.
“Obviously, I would prefer to be playing a lot more, but there’s a great bunch of lads and we all gel really well and enjoy it. We are all quite happy.”