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Plymstock Albion Oaks Match Preview

St Ives will take a full squad and travelling reserves into their first match in their new league, Tribute Cornwall & Devon. The team also has a new look, with plenty of strength and experience. The pre-season promises are certainly showing true as a number of new players make their debuts.

With captain Ben Taylor unavailable, Joel Stevens steps in at hooker. Jess Tompsett comes in at loose head, with Ben Jenkins, back from cricket, adding weight in the front row. This leaves the talented Ben Wheeler on the bench. Young Harry Parton, son of renowned player, Shaun, partners Jamie Prisk in the 2nd row. The back includes Neil Corin back in the side and rearing to go. Martyn Lawrance makes his debut. He showed considerable ability in the pre-season friendlies against Truro. With Sean Stevens ready to come off the bench, and the ever present Sam Heath at open side, the back row is looking very strong. Louis Stevens must be the most fearful forward on the bench in the entire league.

Jason Jackson returns at scrum half. His commitment last season was outstanding. His mid field partner is going to be another eye catcher; Paul Thirlby, head coach, will bring experience and structure to the three quarters. Brother Grant, (today's) captain and assistant coach will be alongside debutant Peter Mabbott in the centre, another area that supporters will be watching with a keen rugby eye. Nathan Allen, another player making his debut, joins Tom Chandler on the wings. A St Ives side which is able to play without Tom in the forwards will be a surprise to knowledgeable spectators. His skill set has much improved since he last was selected on the wing. Lewis Thomas adds considerable quality to complete the back three.

Coach, Paul Thirlby, has elected to have no cover in the backs on the bench, but is confident that this new look side can bring a result. Travelling to Plymouth to see this first match is a mouth-watering prospect, especially for those of us who loyally supported the team throughout last season's difficult times.

Promoted opponents

The Plymstock side gained promotion from Devon One after a successful playoff against Veor. St Ives will hope that this is a step too far for the Devon team, although they had eight straight wins at home last season. There final league match destroyed 3rd placed St Columba & Tprpoint by 69 points to nil.

Team for Saturday

Plymstock Albion Oaks (away) 3pm Kick off

1 Jess Tompsett

2 Joel Stevens

3 Ben Jenkins

4 Jamie Prisk

5 Harry Parton

6 Neil Corin

7 Sam Heath

8 Martyn Lawrance

9 Jason Jackson

10 Paul Thirlby

11 Nathan Allen

12 Grant Thirlby (captain)

13 Peter Mabbott

14 Tom Chandler

15 Lewis Thomas

16 Sean Stevens

17 Ben Wheeler

18 Louis Stevens

Travelling Reserves

19 Joe Rouncefield

20 David Bramwell

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