Following a difficult home loss last weekend, the Ocean City’s finest have an immediate chance to get back on track as they face the most northern club in the division, Darling Mowden Park at their 22,000 seat arena.
On the back of a three-game winning streak, DMP will be looking to add to keep honours even with Albion after losing 36-24 at the Brickfields back in November. With a solid pack and exciting backline, the men of Mowden will provide stern opposition and look to maintain home advantage which has worked out in the previous 9 meetings between the clubs.
Last season a brave 17-man squad were edged out by three points and, in light of the season to date, expectation in Devon will be to buck the trend and get the club’s 4th away win of the term.
With wins over Hull, Leeds and Moseley in their last three, this will be the toughest opposition the home side have faced in a while and Albion have selected a team capable of keeping up a challenge for a top-four spot.
Selection-wise, Harry Wilkinson moves from hooker to tighthead as Jess Tompsett’s loan period has ended. He is joined by the warrior Jamie Salter and Ramaz Rukhadze in a familiar looking front row. The ever-reliable Jake Clemson will be partnered by Bryn Edwards in the engine room. After a few strong performances early in the season, Edwards will be expected to use his undoubtable strength as he steps in for Dan Collier who is resting a few knocks.
In the backrow, Torin Clarke steps up from the bench to join Herbie Stupple and George Mills in a lively backrow. They will be marshalled by Jack Oulton who was a standout last week with some real fire in the uncharacteristic team performance. Phil Jones retains his spot at 10 and he’ll be excited to see the return of Connor Eastgate in the centre after missing last week with a stomach bug. Alongside Jeremy Toa’a, Eastgate forms arguably the club’s most potent centre pairing, and a lot will be expected of them to challenge the Darlington backs.
Out wide, Frankie Nowell is in after a very impressive midweek performance for the Exeter Chiefs braves. He will partner Kyle Speare and captain consistency Tom Putt in an exciting back three.
Speaking in advance of the game head coach Ryan Lamb added “It’s always tough to go to DMP, our longest trip of the season. The lads have trained well this week and are excited at the challenge. After last week we are keen to put in a performance deserving of the Albion badge and hope to put on a show for the travelling fans”
Here’s your lineup