Third-placed Plymouth Albion make the long journey north-east for their National League One game with fourth-placed Darlington Mowden Park at the Northern Echo Arena this Saturday, October 28 (KO 2pm).
Both sides will be looking to make amends for their point-dropping performances last weekend.
Newly-promoted Old Elthamians held Albion to a 17-17 draw and just two points at the Brickfields, while all Darlington could muster was a losing bonus point away at second-placed Blackheath.
Head coach Kieran Hallett says: “I think Darlington will be our first big test since Blackheath to be honest. It will be a tough game. They are going very well and have improved on how they were last year. So it will be a big test for us.
“We will back ourselves against anyone but we will have to play very well to beat them. They have brought a few guys in from Newcastle this year who are scoring points and they are dangerous. They are playing a slightly different style from last year so we will have to be at the top of our game.”
Hallett has made a number of changes to this week’s squad. Captain Herbie Stupple picked up a shoulder injury in the Old Elthamians game and will be unavailable for the Darlington fixture. As a result, it is ‘all change’ in the pack with Sean Lonsdale joining Dan Swain in the second row and Ed Holmes moving back to line up alongside George Mills and Eoghan Grace. Grace starts at number eight and takes on the captain’s role for the second time this season.
Joe Snow, dual registered with Exeter Chiefs, returns at scrum half replacing Cameron Setter who is named as a replacement.
Set to feature for Darlington is South African second row David Fisher who was formerly on Albion’s books. Signed by Graham Dawe in 2015, Fisher was injured pre-season and underwent anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery before joining the County Durham club in 2016.
Plymouth Albion team to face Darlington Mowden Park at the Northern Echo Arena on Saturday, October 28, (KO 2pm):
15 Matt Shepherd, 14 Matt Crosscombe, 13 Seta Raumakita, 12 Harvey Skinner, 11 Jack Arnott, 10 Dan Mugford, 9 Cameron Setter, 1 Will Norton, 2 Rupert Freestone, 3 Dan Pullinger, 4 Dan Swain, 5 Sean Lonsdale 6 Ed Holmes, 7 George Mills, 8 Eoghan Grace (Captain).
16 Jack Owlett, 17 Jamie Salter, 18 Sam Daly, 19 Cameron Setter, 20 Dean Squire