THE Plymouth Combination will turn the clock back a number of years this weekend when they play an away representative match.
The Combination side will travel to Newton Abbot on Saturday to play the Torbay Sharks, which is a team made up of clubs in the south Devon area.
The sides met last year at Keyham, with Plymouth winning 27-22, thanks to some impressive kicking from Richard West.
“This will be the sixth game the Combination have played in the last three years or so, but it is our first away from home,” said Shaun Bedford-Smith, who helps organise the team.
“Dan Leeson, who does the coaching with me, said having an away game was the next step to take.
“I don’t know the last time the Combination played an away fixture. They might have done in the 1990s but it has certainly been a long time.”
Saturday’s squad is expected to include players from Saltash, Devonport Services, Tavistock, Plymstock Albion Oaks, OPMs, Tamar Saracens, Old Techs, St Columba & Torpoint and DHSOB.
“There’s a lot of Combination clubs represented,” said Bedford-Smith. “Unfortunately, a few clubs have got events on. Argaum have their President’s v Chairman’s match and their dinner dance, Devonport Services also have a dinner dance that night, Plymouth University have got a sevens event and Marjons have their university ball.
“Last week’s Combination Sevens also wiped out four or five players with injury, but there’s a lot of interest in playing.”
Bedford-Smith knows the Torbay side, who are able to call on players from clubs like Brixham, Newton Abbot, Teignmouth, Torquay and Paignton, will be hoping to gain revenge for last year’s defeat.
“I think we might have surprised them a bit last year,” said Bedford-Smith. “I think they are looking to reverse the score.
“Last year some people thought we might have bitten off more than we could chew playing them because of the clubs in their area, but there are a lot of good players in the Combination.
“I think the Torbay side will be made up of up-and-coming youngsters from some of their bigger clubs but all will be a good standard. We don’t know what to expect and we’ve also got a different Combination side.
“We want to play well and, of course, the result does matter.”
Admission into Rackerhayes is free and organisers are hoping there will be a decent crowd to watch the match.
The Combination are running a coach from park and ride at Milehouse, which leaves at 12.30pm, for players and supporters. The coach should be back in Plymouth at 8pm.