PLYMOUTH Albion could be struggling for players for this weekend’s game against Wharfedale at Brickfields.
Albion, who have operated with a squad of just 29 this season, including dual-registered players, picked up four injuries – to Cameron Setter, James Penman, Harrison Cully and Ed Holmes – in their heavy defeat at Ampthill last Saturday
Jake Murphy and Elliot Bale are also injured, while Ethan Ford has returned to Australia, Dean Brooker has left to go to New Zealand, Jarrad Hayler is away with the Royal Navy and Rupert Freestone is with the England Students squad.
The Navy may also want Seti Raumakita back with their Inter-Service Championship starting this month.
Scrum-half Setter seems certain to miss his first game of the season with an injured ankle and if Penman and Holmes do not make it then Albion might be struggling to fill a bench.
“We have been very fortunate over the season as far as injuries have been concerned, only really have two or three at any one time,” said director of rugby Graham Dawe.
“But we took a bit of a heavy blow last week. Fingers crossed players can recover.
“We are pretty sure Harrison Cully will be fit by the weekend and we hold out hope that James Penman and Ed Holmes are as well, but time will tell.
“Cameron Setter is definitely out for this weekend. He has got a grade one ankle ligament injury.
“Rupert Freestone is potentially still away. They (England Students) fly out to Dublin today.”
If Penman is out then Albion would have major problems covering hooker.
Sam Matavesi, who has been playing at flanker, would probably have to play there, unless Albion brought in an emergency front-row loan signing or asked England Students if they could release Freestone.
“If Sam has to step up, he has to step up,” said Dawe. “I’m sure he’ll be happy to do it.
“James Penman is getting another opinion on his ankle. We’ll make a call after that.”
“Potentially we could bring someone but hopefully it won’t come to that.”
Meanwhile, a takeover of Plymouth Albion is expected to be confirmed within the next 48 hours, with the club set to enter administration first.