Rugby to return to the Rectory after a year-long absence


RUGBY finally returns to the Rectory this weekend after a year-long absence.

The historic ground has been out of action for any form of activity for the past 12 months while the old wooden grandstand was demolished.

But the Navy RFU and Devonport Services were handed it back last week and, after completing a host of health and safety assessments in the last few days, it can be used on Saturday.

It means Services are able to host Plymstock Albion Oaks there in an adapted rules match, albeit it without any spectators due to government Covid-19 rules.

However, it will give Devonport a chance to try and get used to their new-look home before the start of next season.

“I don’t know how we are going to take to it,” said Services coach Mike Lewis. “Is it going to make it more windy? Or will it stop the wind swirling?

“That prevailing south-westerly wind generally does come up the creek, but we don’t really know how it is going to play. It will create a different atmosphere.”

He added: “We have this game this weekend against Plymstock and then next week we will play the University of Plymouth also at the Rectory.

“Our colts are also playing Plymstock at the Rectory before our game to make it a double-header.

“I think everyone has just missed it. I think Plymstock and us are just putting out whoever is available this weekend and will just play and rotate. It’s just about having a good crack – none of this competitive stuff.

“The players are just really excited to be back. We are still missing a few players here and there as some people are waiting until next season, which is fine. But everyone who wants to play will get some game-time. We are pretty excited about it.”

OPMs are also in action on Saturday when they host the University of Plymouth in an adapted rugby contest at King George V Playing Fields.

The sides had played touch rugby against each other last week but contact games, part from scrums and mauls, are now allowed.

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