SAM MATAVESI will be back at Plymouth Albion on Sunday – just a month after leaving the National One club.
The 24-year-old Fijian international, who starred for Cornwall in May’s County Championship, left Brickfields in July to return to his hometown club Camborne.
The newly-promoted National Three South West side open their pre-season campaign by crossing the Tamar to take on Albion.
“I’m starting Sunday and I am excited, really excited,” said inspirational flanker Matavesi, who has enjoyed three different spells at Albion.
“It will be quite tough. This is our (Camborne’s) first pre-season game and people are still on holiday or working, things like that.
“We are not going to be at full strength, which is a shame, but we’ll still have quite a tidy side.
“Albion are going to be strong, they have got some awesome players, but it’s not about the result but how we do. Hopefully, we can do well.”
Matavesi will line up alongside his younger brother Joel in the Camborne side.
“It will be the first time I have played a proper 15-a-side game with him, I think. I’m excited about that,” said Matavesi.
“For us (Camborne) it is an awesome opportunity just to see where we are in terms of what we have been doing.”
It had looked like Matavesi was going to stay at Albion. He started pre-season with them, but he had said months ago that he wanted to join the Royal Navy to have a career to fall back on and that didn’t fit in with Albion’s plans for the 2016/17, as he would miss part of the campaign due to training courses and possibly representative rugby.
However, Matavesi admits that it is likely he could return to Brickfields at some point in the future.
“I left Plymouth on good terms,” said Matavesi, who was influential in Albion’s impressive end to last season, which saw them win 22 of their 30 National One games.
“I started pre-season and I had the contract literally in front of me, but about three weeks into pre-season they said they didn’t want me going into the Navy. They wanted me to stay full-time (available for the whole season), if that makes sense.
“I said I didn’t want to do that. I want to get ino the Navy first. If I keep putting it off I will never get in.
“But, as I’ve said, I left on good terms and, hopefully, I can return sooner rather than later.
“I wanted to leave on good terms because if I am based in or around Plymouth it would make sense for me to train and play there.
“But for this season I will be with Camborne for the year, even though I will miss a bit of it.
“Next year when I’m a bit more settled, I can see what is on.”
Matavesi had an interview to join the Navy back in May and last week passed his medical.
“I had to lose a few kilos to meet the BMI requirements,” he admitted. “I had that (medical) on the 9th and I passed that and I will have a fitness test next week. If I pass that, which, hopefully, I should, I will get a date (to join).
“It has been quite long process, but I’m sure 100 per cent it will be worth it. I’m 24 now and it’s time I focus on something else other than rugby.”
Albion, meanwhile, have not yet announced their team to play Camborne. They did not officially name one before they played National Two South side Exmouth on Tuesday night – a match they won 62-5.
It is expected, Plymouth will field players who did not play against the Cockles.