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New Season Preview

| 28/08/2017

Bridgwater and Albion Rugby Club kick off their new season in South West One (West) on Saturday afternoon with a home game against Teignmouth RFC where the kick off is at 3pm.

Head coach Simon Morrell, who is now into his second season in charge at College Way talked about how the pre-season had gone.

“We were hoping to have three pre-season games with a view to fielding what was potentially the one we were going to play Teignmouth in one of them, but then Chard pulled out so we only had two games and it didn’t quite work out that way.

“However during the two games that we played we have fielded a good cross section of players across the three squads.

“We had a good game against Chew Valley which was very encouraging even though we lost 15-5, and then we were well beaten at Winscombe who were a strong side. Both games were tough and provided a good run out for the boys and most of those in the senior squad have had a full 80 minutes ahead of the first game.”

The head coach’s plans have suffered some unexpected setbacks as he explained

“Sadly we lost Jordan Buller with a broken leg at Winscombe, which is a real shame as we have already got his brother Taylor out injured, Gavin Knight has got a knee injury and Lewis Priest is also injured, so pre-season has taken a bit of a toll on us.

“Pre-season has been a bit of a transition for those in the squad and there has been a real opportunity for people to put their hands up and accelerate their development this summer, and the two games we have had so far have enabled this to happen.

“Kurt Polley who is a blind side flanker who has come into the squad this summer has been outstanding and he is going to give some good performances for us this year. I didn’t know much about him beforehand so that has been encouraging and there have been several other young players who have come to the fore.

“We are not there yet and know that we need to drop in one or two other players on top of what we have at the moment and we are actively doing that. However that is not likely to happen in time for our opening game.

“We are getting the right players in but not rushing, but having said that it means that there are others in the squad who will get their opportunity, so we will be putting out a strong side against Teignmouth on Saturday.

“Sadly Lewis Phillips and Kurt Polley are both missing, but we are well organised and capable so if we can squeeze a win on Saturday it will show the depth of our squad and reflect all the work that has gone into pre-season.”

Last season it was honours in the two games, with Teignmouth winning 18-13 in the fixture at College Way in October while the Albion triumphed 40-22 in the return in South Devon in January.

There is always a little bit of extra edge to games between the two sides because Teignmouth is where Bridgwater head coach Simon Morrell was in charge before he joined the Somerset club ahead of the 2016-17 campaign.

Once again Simon has been impressed by the support that the Albion have received.

“I have been amazed by the number of people who have travelled to our two pre-season game away from home. It’s great to see people coming to watch us and the boys are looking forward to playing in front of a good crowd on Saturday- they really do appreciate it.

The Albion boss added: “I said that this season we would look to kick on from last time round and by the time we are 10 games into the campaign we will have had a good start to the year.”

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Category: 1st XV News

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