PLYMOUTH Albion have announced they will boost their 2016/17 squad with eight players from Premiership side Exeter Chiefs.
Ed Holmes, Jack Maunder, Harrison Cully and Billy Keast will arrive as dual-registered players, while Harry Strong, Will Norton, Paul Davies and Joe Simmonds will join on agreed deals for the season, as National One clubs are only permitted to play four dual or loan players in their squad at one time.
Twenty-year-old lock Holmes (pictured top), 19-year-old winger Cully and scrum-half Maunder were dual-registered with Albion last season before England Under-20 international Maunder went to Redruth to gain game-time after failing to force his way into the team due to the form of Cameron Setter and Matt Shepherd.
Plymouth University student Holmes made 27 appearances for Albion last term – 25 starts, while Cully made 18 appearances – 17 starts.
Fly-half Simmonds, 19, and prop Keast, 19, both played for England Under-20s last season, while gaining experience at Taunton and Redruth respectively.
Strong is a 19-year-old centre, while Norton and Davies are front-row forwards. Norton, 23, played for Cardiff Met last season, while hooker Davis was at Taunton.
Albion head coach Dan Parkes, a former Chiefs player, said: “We are thankful for the support Exeter are giving Plymouth Albion but it is a win-win situation for both clubs with the Chiefs players getting quality game-time while they are with us.”
Exeter Chiefs academy manager Robin Cowling added: “It’s vital that young players have more game time that just A League matches and LV Cup games. A crucial part of a players learning is to be playing and at the highest level possible.
“The relationship between Exeter Chiefs and Plymouth Albion is important, particularly the relationships between the coaches.”