RUGBY PREVIEW: High hopes for Brixham and Newton Abbot
BRIXHAM coach Dan Parkes hopes to have skipper Adam Thomas and pacy back Tom McLean fit for the trip to Weston in National Three SW.
McLean has missed the last two matches due to injury, most recently the 28-3 win over Barnstaple at Astley Park last Saturday.
Thomas, a cornerstone of the pack, missed the victory over Barnstaple due to an injury sustained in the pre-match warm-up.
Newton Abbot supporters should not get too carried away yet even though the All Whites are third in the National Three South West table after a 28-22 win over previously unbeaten Weston.
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Roy Henderson, Newton Abbot's director of rugby, said: "Beating the leaders inevitably means one or two people around the club wondering how far we can go this season. It is a bit early for that sort of talk after six games."
Newton are at Old Patesians tomorrow.
Taunton, buoyed by their win at Southend, have the nearest thing to a derby in National Two South when Clifton visit Hyde Park.
Barnstaple hope to have flanker and captain Winston James fit and healthy for tomorrow's Pottington Road showdown with Chippenham.
James was taken to hospital for a check-up after suffering a neck injury in the 24-3 defeat at Brixham last Saturday.
The game at Astley Park was halted for 15 minutes while James was treated on the pitch. A trip to casualty was recommended as a precaution, but nothing serious was found and James was released within an hour.
So good news for James, but the prognosis for injured stand-off Steve Perry is not so good. "Steve only lasted 14 minutes before going off with a knee injury, and it looks like he could be standing on the sidelines for a while," said Barnstaple's director of rugby Kevin Squire.
Barum have lost two in a row now and need a win against Chippenham to avoid dropping into the bottom half of the table.
Exmouth coach Jon Hill believes it would be a mistake to read too much into Avonmouth's lowly league position ahead of the Severnside meeting between the clubs.
While Exmouth are only three points behind leaders London Irish Amateurs, winless Avonmouth are one off the bottom with a solitary point.
"Unlike the other teams at the bottom of the table, they are not being over-run by 50 and 60 points," said Hill.
"Brixham and Barnstaple were both pleased to come away from Avonmouth with the points having had close and hard-fought battles."