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The First Game of 2024 – Albion v Bishop’s Stortford Preview

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Christmas and the New Year have seemingly whizzed by, and we’re ready to get back underway in our National League 1 campaign this weekend against Bishop‘s Stortford!

We come into the 15th game of the season third in the division following nine wins from the opening half of the campaign, but we tasted one of our five losses at the hands of Taunton last time out.

The chance has arrived to get back to winning ways on Saturday, but as with every fixture in this division, nothing about the 80 minutes will be easy.

A late Tom Putt penalty following tries from Ramaz Rukhadze, Archie Hill and Sam Daly saw us snatch a late win in Hertfordshire back in September; it was as tense as could be for the entirety of the encounter.

Stortford claimed victory at the Brickfields last season despite tries from Phil Jones and Dan Collier, so we are all too familiar with the challenge they present.

Before the break, this weekend’s opponents registered two wins out of three in December, beating Darlington Mowden Park and Sale before succumbing to Blackheath at home as they broke off the Christmas.

Team News:

Ramaz Rukhadze and Dan Pullinger both return to the match day squad either side of Tom Cowan-Dickie in the front row, while Dan Collier returns to the starting line-up. Angus Hodges and Torin Clarke flank Brad Howe in the back row, and captain Jack Oulton is back at Scrum-Half.

Connor Eastgate moves to Fly-Half in the absence of both Phil Jones and Tom Putt, and Jesse Lowe takes to the Left Wing for the first time this season. Archie Hill is joined in the centre by the returning Seta Raumakita, and back at the club after four years away, Jordan Gott starts at Full-Back.

Jake Bond and Sonny Hirini both move to the bench alongside Gabe Mead, Jenson Boughton and Morgan Stone.

The Team In Full:

  1. Ramaz Rukhadze
  2. Tom Cowan-Dickie
  3. Dan Pullinger
  4. Jake Clemson
  5. Dan Collier
  6. Angus Hodges
  7. Torin Clarke
  8. Brad Howe
  9. Jack Oulton ©
  10. Connor Eastgate
  11. Jesse Lowe
  12. Archie Hill
  13. Seta Raumakita
  14. Pita Ratukadreu
  15. Jordan Gott

Replacements:

  1. Gabe Mead
  2. Jenson Boughton
  3. Jake Bond
  4. Morgan Stone
  5. Sonny Hirini
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