Captain Grace says Albion Up for Coventry Clash

Eoghan Grace, Captain of Plymouth Albion is tackled by Karl Garside of Ampthill during the National Division 1 match between Plymouth Albion v Ampthill at the Brickfields Recreation Ground, on November 11th 2017, Plymouth, Devon, UK. PHOTO: Cameron Geran/PPAUK

Plymouth Albion travel to Coventry today (Saturday, November 25, KO 3pm), hoping to upset the league leaders at Butts Park Arena.

The Midlands side are unbeaten this season, having scored winning bonus points in all but two of their eleven games.

In the absence of Herbie Stupple, who remains sidelined with a slipped disc, Albion’s captain is back row forward Eoghan Grace.

Grace, 30, says: “We believe we can do a job up there and we are going there with the intent to do a job. They are unbeaten, are a really good side and have a lot of good players. But I think everyone in this league has got a shot on their day.

“Obviously we have got to do it the hard way away first, but if we can be the ones to stop them and get something going for ourselves, then this weekend is where it has to start.”

Grace says the squad are relishing the top of the table clash: “We’re hugely up for Coventry. These are the games we are looking forward to. You want to be playing the teams that are on form and measure where you are. So we are really pumped for it. They are a really good side but we will get as much as we can out of it.”

Selected at number eight again, Grace is keen to recognise the contribution of the injured Herbie Stupple. He says: “Herbie is a big loss, a big unit and a big player for us.

“I am being thrown in across the back row but I am happy to just fit in where needed. I actually played number eight in school and it’s where I like playing.”

Leading the team means a lot to the popular Irishman. He adds: “Being captain is always an honour. It’s a proud moment to get a group of lads behind you to go into battle and try to get the most out of them.”

This week Ed Holmes and George Mills join Grace in the back row and John Kelly moves forward to the second row. Jack Arnott remains in his new full back position with Setareki Raumakita on the wing once more.

Grace explains: “We’ve moved it around, strengthened and tried different partnerships. It’s a big buy in at the end of the day. You can be in whatever number but all you’ve got to do is give it your all. That’s what we’re expecting. The boys are there in those positions because they’ve earnt it.”

Grace believes the team selection reflects head coach Kieran Hallett’s desire for the win: “Kieran has gone for a few bold decisions but we are going up with the mentality that we want to win. He has picked the team with that intent.”

Plymouth Albion team to face Coventry RFC at Butts Park Arena on Saturday, November 25 (KO 3pm).

15 Jack Arnott, 14 Matt Crosscombe, 13 Dean Squire, 12 Harvey Skinner, 11 Setareki Raumakita, 10 Dan Mugford, 9 Joe Snow, 1 Will Norton, 2 Rupert Freestone, 3 Dan Pullinger, 4 John Kelly, 5 Sean Lonsdale, 6 Ed Holmes, 7 George Mills, 8 Eoghan Grace (Captain)

 Replacements

16 Luke Chapman, 17 Jamie Salter, 18 Dan Collier, 19 Cameron Setter, 20 Matthew Shepherd