Plymouth Albion / Rugby

Young winger Cully to make his first Albion start of the season away at Fylde

Harrison Cully

HARRISON CULLY will make his first Plymouth Albion appearance of the season this Saturday when the club travel to Fylde in National One.

The 19-year-old dual-registered winger from Exeter Chiefs made 18 appearances for Albion last season under Graham Dawe, 17 of which were starts.

Cully missed the start of this season due to a shoulder injury. He replaces Matt Crosscombe in Albion’s starting line-up on Saturday.

The Plymouth selectors have made a number of changes following their 40-13 home win over Old Albanian last weekend.

In the backs, Dean Squire returns to the team. He will form a young centre partnership with Exeter Chiefs’ Joe Simmonds, with Royal Marine Seti Raumakita dropping to the bench.

In the pack, young prop Sam Nixon comes in for only his second start in place of Will Norton, who will be a replacement this weekend.

Tom Cowan-Dickie will line-up at hooker in place of Rupert Freestone, who had to come off earlier last week with a head injury.

Young Exeter forward Sam Skinner also comes in for his second start, taking over from his Chiefs team-mate Ed Holmes in the second-row.

Another Chiefs youngster Harry Strong is included in Albion’s squad for the first time. He will start on the bench in Lancashire.

Albion head to Fylde looking to secure their fifth league win in six games. They do have an impressive record against this weekend’s opponents.

The two clubs have met nine times in competitive matches with Albion winning eight of those. Fylde have not beaten Plymouth since the late 1980s.

Last year’s matches were both thrillers, with Albion winning 31-24 at home and then producing a stunning comeback at Woodlands in January to triumph 38-26.

On a bitterly cold and snowy day, Albion were 26-10 down with 20 minutes to go, with Fylde having scored four tries in the first half.

But Albion totally turned the game around in the dying minutes. Among Plymouth’s late try scorers that day were Herbie Stupple, Nile Dacres and Matt Shepherd, who all start for the club this weekend.

Fylde currently sit in 13th place with just one win to their name. That came last week when they beat Esher 26-20 at Woodlands. However, they have picked up four bonus points this season.

Former Albion scrum-half Greg Nicholls is still playing for Fylde, as is Royal Marine Dave Fairbrother.

Albion: 15 Matt Shepherd, 14 Harrison Cully, 13 Dean Squire, 12 Joe Simmonds, 11 Robin Wedlake, 10 Kieran Hallett, 9 Cameron Setter, 1 Sam Nixon, 2 Tom Cowan-Dickie, 3 Dan Pullinger, 4 Nile Dacres, 5 Sam Skinner, 6 Dan Williams, 7 George Mills, 8 Herbie Stupple. Replacements: Jamie Salter, Harry Strong, Seti Raumakita, Rupert Cooper, Will Norton.

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