DEVON RFU will rely heavily on Plymouth-based rugby players when their ladies’ team host the England Deaf Rugby women’s side at Newton Abbot on Sunday (1pm).
Plymouth Albion have eight players in the squad – Lilly Goddard, Megan Higgins, Caitlin Short, Donna Downes, Chloe Dawe, Helena Radcliffe, Bryony Tyler and Isabelle Jackson – while Plymstock Albion Oaks will be represented by Motunrayo Osuntokun. City student Matilda Fergurson, who plays club rugby for Oakmedians, is also in the 26-player party.
Devon are using the prestigious match to prepare for their County Championship campaign, which will begin on April 30 when they travel to Gloucestershire.
The women’s match will be followed by Devon under-20s’ men’s County Shield game against Somerset.
That fixture should have been played last weekend, but was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at Okehampton RFC.
Now it will be played at Rackerhayes this Sunday, kicking off at 3.15pm.
Ivybridge have seven players in the under-20 starting line-up for this weekend’s match – captain Mitch Pinkus, Damon Akerman, Jordan Smith, Lewis Barnaby, Jake Prophett-O’Neill, Connor Banks, Ben Collins and Max Coles.
Plymouth University forwards Tom Arnold and Ben Morris will also start against Somerset.
The Devon squads are as follows:
DEVON LADIES TO FACE ENGLAND DEAF RUGBY: 15 Lauren Mueller (Topsham), 14 Lilly Goddard (Plymouth Albion/Marjon University), 13 Megan Higgins (Plymouth Albion), 12 Caitlin Short (Plymouth Albion), 11 Motunrayo Osuntokun (Plymstock Albion Oaks/Plymouth University), 10 Charlotte Green (Cullompton), 9 Charley Wright (Cullompton), 1 Donna Downes (Plymouth Albion), 2 Claire Knighton (Cullompton), 3 Chloe Dawe (Plymouth Albion), 4 Matilda Fergurson (Oakmedians/Plymouth University), 5 Amy Alford (Cullompton), 6 Gemma Parish (Cullompton), 7 Helena Radcliffe (Plymouth Albion /Marjon University), 8 Corinne Walsh (Topsham). Replacements: 16 India Chambers (Withycombe),17 Elena Wallis (Newton Abbot), 18 Bryony Tyler (Plymouth Albion/Marjon University), 19 Claire Vickery (Cullompton), 20 Natasha Currie (Topsham), 21 Isabelle Jackson (Plymouth Albion/ Plymouth University), 22 Liz Lennox (Cullompton), 23 Dawn Latham Mahoney (Topsham), 24 Joanna Bucknall (Topsham), 25 Kelly Browring (Withycombe), 26 Jennie Moss (Paignton).
DEVON UNDER-20s MEN’S SIDE TO FACE SOMERSET: 15 Damon Akerman (Ivybridge), 14 Jordan Smith (Ivybridge), 13 Kyle Blackmore (Honiton), 12 Lewis Barnaby (Ivybridge), 11 Jake Prophett-O’Neill (Ivybridge), 10 Mitch Pinkus (Ivybridge), 9 Connor Banks (Ivybridge), 1 Ben Logan (Honiton), 2 Aidan Taylor (Exmouth), 3 Sean Harrison (Withycombe), 4 Jordan Watson (Brixham), 5 Tom Arnold (Plymouth University), 6 Ben Collins (Ivybridge), 7 Max Coles (Ivybridge), 8 Ben Morris (Plymouth University). Replacements: 16 Martin Carrick (Newton Abbot), 17 Joe Buller (Tiverton), 18 Alfie Lang (Newton Abbot), 19 Tom Robbins (Sidmouth), 20 Jack Sturton (Hartpury College)