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Plymouth Albion team to face Ealing Trailfinders

Jersey Rugby v Plymouth Albion 261013

James Shanahan has made seven changes, 3 positional for the last home game of the season which sees Ealing Trailfinders visit Brickfields for the first time this Saturday kick off 3.00pm.

The back line sees two changes in personnel and two positional changes from the side that lost to Leeds Carnegie last Sunday.

Chris Elder continues his run of games at fullback although this will be his last home game for Plymouth Albion at Brickfields as he moves onto pastures new.

Jack Arnott swaps wings for this weekend clash with Lewis Warner moving from outside centre to cover the left wing.

Ben Woods comes into the starting line-up to partner Toby Howley-Berridge at inside centre.

In the half backs, Paul Rowley is restored at 9 to partner Declan Cusack at fly half.

In the front row there is only one change with Sam Matavesi coming in at Hooker, he takes over from Jared Saunders who drops to the replacements bench.

David Morton and Matt Shields start either side of Matavesi at Loose head and Tight head prop respectively.

The second row sees the only personnel change in the pack with Ien Ascroft-Leigh coming in to pack down with Brett Beukeboom.

Sean-Michael Stephen switches from second row to Blindside flanker in what will be his last game in front of the Brickfields crowd.

The back row is completed by Eoghan Grace at Openside with captain Rhys Oakley starting from Number 8.

The replacements sees the already mentioned Jared Saunders, with Tom Harrison and Lloyd Fairbrother completing front row cover.

Gareth Evans is again included as back row cover with James Shanahan, Ruairi Cushion and Jamie Davies also taking their places on the replacements bench.

Full Side;

15 Chris Elder, 14 Jack Arnott, 13 Ben Woods, 12 Toby Howley-Berridge, 11 Lewis Warner, 10 Declan Cusack, 9 Paul Rowley; 1 David Morton, 2 Sam Matavesi, 3 Matt Shields, 4 Brett Beukeboom, 5 Ien Ascroft-Leigh, 6 Sean-Michael Stephen, 7 Eoghan Grace, 8 Rhys Oakley ©


16 Jared Saunders, 17 Tom Harrison, 18 Lloyd Fairbrother, 19 Gareth Evans, 20 James Shanahan, 21 Ruairi Cushion, 22 Jamie Davies

Plymouth Albion Easter Opening Hours


The Plymouth Albion Reception will be open on the following dates to ensure supporters can buy advanced match day tickets for Plymouth Albion v Ealing Trailfinders (Sat 19th KO 3.00pm)

Friday 18th April (Good Friday) – 9.00am – 12.00 noon

Saturday 19th April – open all day

Sunday 20th April (Easter Sunday) - Closed

Monday 21st April – Closed

Tuesday 22nd April – 9.00am – 5.00pm (normal hours)

Plymouth Albion add 3 new players for 2014/15 squad


Plymouth Albion head coach James Shanahan continued building his squad for next season by capturing the signatures of three new players.

21 year old scrum half Josh Davies moves to Brickfields from Newport/Gwent Dragons.

Shanahan speaking about the signing of Davies said, “Josh is a very lively 9 with lots of pace and power. He impressed me last year in the Junior World Cup playing for Wales.

“He can bring a lot of pace and tempo to the game and that is something we like in our attacking game.”

Albion’s back row options will be enhanced by the arrival of 22 year old Alistair Bone, who has just graduated from Loughborough University with a degree in Sport Management.

Shanahan added, “Ali is a very powerful and dynamic back row player who has the ability to cover the whole of the back row which will gives us versatility.

“Coming out of the Loughborough environment he already has a great skill set to work with. Ali is very keen to succeed for Albion next season.

The third new signing, 23 year old Tom Cowan-Dickie, is already well known to Albion fans having been dual registered with Exeter Chiefs for the last two seasons.

Cowan –Dickie has been restricted by injury this season and has made just two league appearances during the current campaign.

Shanahan commented, “Tom is a very powerful rugby player and will bring that to our front row next season.

“We have lacked strong ball carriers in that department and I feel Tom can bring that to our game.

“It shows the strong link we have with Exeter and I’m looking forward to having Tom with us as full time Albion player.

Albion now have 19 players confirmed for next season with 11 members of the current squad being joined by 8 new signings.

Leeds Carnegie v Plymouth Albion Match Report

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Plymouth Albion suffered a fifth consecutive defeat when they were beaten by promotion-hopefuls Leeds in the Championship at Headingley last Sunday.

It was the second time in nine days Albion had lost at Headingley, having gone down 41-21 to Leeds in the quarter-finals of the British & Irish Cup.

That cup match was quite close until the final few minutes but the league game was more one-side.

Leeds went into the match knowing they needed the win to guarantee their place in the end of season promotion play-offs and right from kick-off it was clear they were determined not to make any mistake.

Injury-hit Albion battled hard but they never threatened to cause an upset and claim their first win at Headingley.

They had found themselves 28-0 down at half-time, but played better second half and were rewarded with tries by Ien Ascroft-Leigh and Tom Bowen.

Head coach James Shanahan told The Herald after the match: “I was really proud of the boys second half. We won the second half, but first half was a different matter.

“It was a difficult challenge for us. We had 15 boys currently injured and unavailable. I’m not trying to make excuses, but if any club had 15 players injured they would struggle, especially against a quality outfit like Leeds, who are pushing for promotion.

“But I was really proud of the boys. It was a hard game to get up for, coming back here after the disappointment of the cup game and with Leeds having plenty to play for and us in theory nothing.

“But the guys showed a lot of pride and passion and I thanked them for the second half.

“I just asked if they could do that it from minute one and not wait for the half-time analysis and chat to implement what we had already talked about.”

To read the full match report click The Herald logo:


Plymouth Albion announce another new signing as two depart


Plymouth Albion head coach James Shanahan continued building his squad for next season by signing 21 year old England Students centre Ben Axten-Burrett, who is currently studying at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Axten-Burrett, who was previously a member of the Harlequins Academy, has signed a one year contract with the option of a second season.

Shanahan commenting on the signing said, “Ben Axten-Burrett is a young and exciting centre who was brought to my attention by ex-Dragons head coach Paul Turner.

“Paul has a great eye in spotting talent so once he spoke to me and I had researched Ben it was an easy decision to sign him.

“Ben will bring a play making ability at 12 which is something I was looking for next season. He is a powerful centre with a great passing and kicking game. For me Ben will add an extra dimension to our play next season.”

In contrast two members of the current Albion squad will be moving onto pastures new next season.

21 year old wing Tom Bowen, who has so far scored 16 tries this season, has signed a contract with the England 7’s squad.

Shanahan said, “It is a big loss for us as Tom has been a stand out player for Albion this year but also in the whole Championship.

“I know he had lots of interest from Premiership clubs and to get a 7’s deal with England is great for him. His ability to beat defenders with ease and score tries means I’m confident he will be outstanding for England next season and I will look forward to watching him.”

The second Albion player moving on is 21 year old prop Ben Rogers who has signed a contract with Championship rivals Jersey.

Shanahan added, “It has been a difficult year for Ben due to injuries which has restricted his game time. I was unable to offer Ben a contract but wish him all the best at Jersey next season.”

Leeds Carnegie v Plymouth Albion Match Report

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PLYMOUTH Albion’s British & Irish Cup hopes were ended at the quarter-final stage by Leeds at Headingley on Friday night.

After conceding two early tries, Albion  hit back in a thrilling match and went 18-10 up with dangerous backs Tom Bowen and Chris Elder touching down and fly-half Declan Cusack kicking eight points with the boot.

Promotion-hopefuls Leeds, who had scored tries through lively wings Jonah Holmes and David Doherty in the opening seven minutes, had lock Richard Beck sin-binned in the 28th minute for a professional foul but the home side actually out-scored Albion while he was off the field to close to within one point.

And, in first half injury-time, Plymouth had fly-half Cusack shown yellow for a high tackle and Leeds full-back Alex Lozowski, who had scored their third try minutes earlier, kicked the resultant penalty to put his team 20-18 up at the break.

Albion had created a lot of chances in the first 40 minutes, with Bowen and Elder causing Leeds lots of problems, but second half James Lowe’s team sealed the game, although with 12 minutes to go the visitors were only six points down.

Leeds v Plymouth Albion 040414

Holmes added a second try for the home team on 45 minutes, which Lozowski converted, while Cusack was still off the field.

When he was back on, Cusack reduced the gap to 27-21 with a penalty, but Leeds made the game safe when centre Oli Goss scored a converted try in the 68th minute.

After that it all went wrong for Albion, who lost Davy McGregor with a suspected dislocated shoulder after they had used all the replacements. Shanahan was then yellow carded for kicking the ball away before the referee awarded Leeds a penalty try with the last move of the match.

Albion now have to prepare for another trip to Leeds next Sunday in the Championship.

Leeds: 15 Alex Lozowski, 14 Jonah Holmes, 13 Oli Goss, 12 Rob Vickerman (Christian Georgiou h/t), 11 David Doherty, 10 Jonny Bentley, 9 Craig Hampson, 1 Charlie Beech (Lee Imiolek 58), 2 Joe Graham, 3 Paul Hill (James Currie 54), 4 Harry Casson (Mike Myerscroft 50), 5 Richard Beck, 6 David Sisi (James Doyle 54), 7 Chris Walker, 8 Jarad Williams.

Albion: 15 Chris Elder, 14 Tom Bowen, 13 Ben Woods, 12 Toby Howley-Berridge (James Shanahan 73), 11 Jamie Davies (Jack Arnott 44), 10 Declan Cusack, 9 Paul Rowley (Ruairi Cushion 59), 1 Tom Harrison (Matt Shields 50), 2 Sam Matavesi, 3 Lloyd Fairbrother (David Morton 50), 4 Brett Beukeboom, 5 Ien Ascroft-Leigh (Harrison Tovey 59), 6 Sean-Michael Stephen, 7 Eoghan Grace (Davy McGregor 59), 8 Rhys Oakley (capt).

Referee: Lloyd Linton

SCORERS: Leeds: Tries: Holmes 2, Doherty, Lozowski, Goss;  Cons: Lozowski 3  Pens: Lozowski

Albion: Tries: Bowen; Elder; Cons: Cusack; Pens: Cusack 3

CARDS: Leeds: Beck (yellow 28); Albion: Cusack (Yellow 40+1), Shanahan (80+5)



Plymouth Albion make one change for Quarter Final trip to Headingley

Jersey Rugby v Plymouth Albion 261013

James Shanahan makes just the one change for the British & Irish Cup quarter final against Leeds
Carnegie on Friday night (kick off 8.00pm)

Chris Elder returns to the starting line-up in place of injured Dan Mugford.

In the front row, Sam Matavesi continues at hooker with Tom Harrison and Lloyd Fairbrother completing the three.

Canadian International Brett Beukeboom packs down with Ien Ascroft-Leigh in the second row.

The forwards are then completed by Sean-Michael Stephen at blindside, who this week announced his retirement from rugby at the end of this season, Eoghan Grace at open side and captain Rhys Oakley at Number 8.

In the back division, Paul Rowley and Declan Cusack continue this partnership at scrum half and fly half respectively.

Toby Howley-Berrige and Ben Woods fill the 12 and 13 shirts, with wingers Jamie Davies again featuring on the left wing and top try scorer Tom Bowen on the right.

On the replacements bench front row cover is provided by Davy McGregor at hooker with David Morton and Matt Shields covering the props.

The forward pack replacements are completed by Harrison Tovey.

Accompanying them on the bench will be Ruairi Cushion, Jack Arnott and James Shanahan himself.

This will be Albion first foray into the quarter-finals of the competition previously only featuring in the group stages.

15 Chris Elder, 14 Tom Bowen, 13 Ben Woods, 12 Toby Howley-Berridge, 11 Jamie Davies, 10 Declan Cusack, 9 Paul Rowley; 1 Tom Harrison, 2 Sam Matavesi, 3 Lloyd Fairbrother, 4 Brett Beukeboom, 5 Ien Ascroft-Leigh, 6 Sean-Michael Stephen, 7 Eoghan Grace, 8 Rhys Oakley – capt

Reps; 16 Davy McGregor, 17 David Morton, 18 Matt Shields, 19 Harrison Tovey, 20 James Shanahan, 21 Ruairi Cushion, 22 Jack Arnott