ANDY CHESTERS could be lining up in a back-row alongside former Plymouth Albion favourite Alfie Too’ala after joining National Two South side Clifton.
Chesters made 12 appearances for Albion last season in National One, nine of them from the replacements’ bench, but he decided to move up to Bristol in the summer to take up a new job.
Although Rupert Freestone commutes from Bristol, where he is a student, to Plymouth for training, flanker Chesters has decided to put his career first and join a club close to where he lives.
“I’m working for BLK, the sports clothing brand,” said former Kelly College pupil Chesters. “I’m their South West and Wales sales executive.
“Clifton are National Two. I played against them a couple of times in my Hartpury days. They’ve got a really nice ground and Bristol train there.
“I’m really enjoying it. There’s a great bunch of lads up there.
“Rugby has taken a bit of a backwards steps for me, but I’ve got a decent career now.
“My career is my priority, but there are some really good clubs around so I have not completely lost hope on my rugby ambitions. It has just taken a backwards step.
“Clifton is really convenient as it is only about 10 or 15 minutes from my new place. It’s a really good outfit with a great bunch of lads. Alfie Too’ala is there and there’s a load of ex-Hartpury boys. I am looking forward to it.”
After struggling with injuries early in the season, Chesters did finish last season strongly. He featured in seven of Albion’s final eight matches and scored his first try against Hartpury College in Plymouth’s last home match of the 2015/16 season.
“I had a really good back end of the season,” he said. “I took some good form into the three months off.
“I’m still going to be playing a good level but rugby will be more leisurely for me this year than it was last year.”
Meanwhile, Dean Brooker played for Scottish side Gala in a pre-season match last weekend.
Front-row forward Brooker spent last season at Albion before spending the summer playing in New Zealand.