Hooker Salter Enjoying Rugby

Jamie Salter of Plymouth Albion in action against Joe Beckett of Esher Rugby during the National League One match between Esher Rugby v Plymouth Albion on December 23rd 2017 in Hersham, Surrey, England. (Photo by Gareth Davies/PPAUK)

Plymouth Albion are on the long road to Lancashire this weekend for their National League One fixture against Fylde today (Saturday, January 13, KO 3pm.)

It will be Albion’s first competitive game for three weeks, after their scheduled match against Bishop’s Stortford last weekend was called off due to a waterlogged pitch.

Named in the starting XV for the fourth game in a row, hooker Jamie Salter says the squad are more than ready for the encounter: “Hopefully the break won’t have too much of an effect as we have only had one week off training. We trained last Saturday and the boys are still looking pretty sharp so we should be all right.”

The northbound journey is one of the longest faced by Albion this season, but Salter is not worried about it: “Most of us are used to it by now. Luckily with this one we are staying overnight so we don’t have to get up at ridiculous o’clock in the morning to travel up, so it shouldn’t be too bad. We try to prepare as much as we can, for instance, getting our meals in at the same time. And the good thing about travelling that far is that at least in the morning we have time at the hotel. We can have our breakfast together, rather than getting straight off the bus and playing that way.”

When the sides met in September, Albion scored ten tries in an impressive 68-15 home victory, but Salter says the Lancashire side can still pose threats.

“We will go up there with confidence, but I think in this league we have seen that anyone can beat anyone. The thing with the teams down the bottom is that they will play from everywhere and they will do the unpredictable as they have nothing to lose. We are probably favourites, but I am sure their coach will have told them to go for it. And that is quite often where you can come unstuck as you can’t prepare against a side that can do anything from anywhere.”

In fact Fylde snatched victory in the last minutes of last season’s encounter at the Woodlands Memorial Ground, 39-37.

“They are a strong side at home and last season it was very frustrating when they got that try right at the end. We conceded too many points and we should have beaten them. Hopefully we will put that right this week.”

Head of PE at Newton Abbot College, Salter was full of praise for the achievements of dual-registered Albion and Exeter players Marcus Street and Joe Snow who have been away training with England Under 20s.

“They are both good young boys. Obviously being a hooker I know Marcus well as a tighthead prop and the way he has developed with us over the last year is outstanding. He deserves it and it is good to see Snowy getting recognition too. He has made a big impact this year.”

Now in his third stint with Albion, 32-year-old Salter is pleased with his season so far: “I am going really well and playing some good rugby. It is nice to get the starts back-to-back as mine is a position where playing regularly helps with line-outs and things like that as you get into your rhythm. I am enjoying my rugby.“

Plymouth Albion team to face Fylde at the Woodlands Memorial Ground on Saturday, January 13 (KO 3pm).

15 Matt Shepherd, 14 Matt Crosscombe, 13 Dean Squire, 12 Harvey Skinner, 11 Harrison Cully, 10 Dan Mugford, 9 Cameron Setter, 1 Will Norton, 2 Jamie Salter, 3 Dan Pullinger, 4 Sean Lonsdale, 5 John Kelly, 6 Ed Holmes, 7 Sam Daly, 8 Eoghan Grace (Captain).

Replacements

16 Rupert Freestone, 17 Jack Owlett, 18 George Mills, 19 Jordan Gott, 20 Joe Snow