Plymouth Albion captain Herbie Stupple is expecting to line up against someone close to home when Redruth RFC visit the Brickfields for a pre-season friendly on Sunday, August 20 (KO 1pm).
Redruth flanker Mark Grubb was best man at Stupple’s wedding to wife Charlotte just three months ago and the pair have been best mates since year six at primary school.
While Redruth have yet to name their team for Sunday, Grubb is likely to feature. The 26 year-old from Padstow made 21 appearances for the National League Two side last season.
Either way, Stupple is looking forward to the fixture.
He says: “A lot of my friends play at Redruth. We’ve got a good relationship with them. We’ve always played them every pre-season and they always put a tough side against us.
“They are one of the best sides in Cornwall. It’s never an easy task to play a team from the league below.”
The fixture is Albion’s first home pre-season friendly of the 2017-18 campaign.
With friendlies allowing a squad of 25, rather than 20, head coach Kieran Hallett is giving everyone a chance to impress. Stupple starts on the bench, making way for a number of players who did not feature last week.
Stupple says: “It’s been great having James Earp (strength and conditioning coach) on board again. Last year he didn’t have much time to prepare us whereas this time he has been able to plan it and it has been phenomenal so far.
“We took a load of huge positives from the Bedford game, as well as things to work on. When you play a side in the league above you can’t afford to make mistakes because teams like that will capitalise on it. I think we stood up well to them physically, although there were probably a few tired legs towards the end!”
Fans’ favourite Stupple is excited about the season ahead.
“We have every chance. We’re lucky to have kept the squad we had and lost only two or three. We’ve gained some more experienced players as well and of course the Exeter Chiefs guys who really help us a lot.
“Being captain is massive for me. When I first came here I just wanted to knuckle down and get on with it. I didn’t even think about being captain. Now I’m the longest serving player in the team and it’s a huge thing for me to lead them out.”
Plymouth Albion will face Redruth RFC at the Brickfields on Sunday, August 20. Kick-off is at 1pm and entry costs £5, with under-16s free with a paying adult.