Exeter quartet are unavailable to Plymouth Albion
PLYMOUTH Albion will not be able to call on Exeter players Luke Cowan-Dickie, Henry Slade, Alex Brown and Will Carrick-Smith this weekend.
The dual-registered quartet are not being released by the Premiership club to play in Albion's vital Championship game against Moseley.
Instead they are likely to feature in Exeter's LV=Cup game against Bath.
However, Exeter are allowing Jack Arnott, Tom Cowan-Dickie and Lloyd Fairbrother to stay with Albion.
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"I have got three of them – Jack Arnott, Tom Cowan-Dickie and Lloyd Fairbrother – the rest are playing in the LV=Cup," said Albion head coach Nat Saumi.
"It (recalling dual-registered players) is something we expected it and that's why we have a squad."
Albion are also awaiting news on the fitness of forwards Sean-Michael Stephen, Aaron Carpenter and Harrison Tovey.
Captain Stephen has been struggling with a stiff back this week, Carpenter with a hamstring problem he picked up against Munster A last week and Tovey a neck injury picked up in the same game.
"We have to see how Aaron, Sean-Michael and Harrison are," said Saumi.
"For Sean-Michael, it is just his back from training but he should be okay and for Aaron it is his hamstring from last Friday.
"There are another couple of days to go and they should have recovered by then."
Meanwhile, former Albion lock Colin Stewart has been back at Brickfields this week working with the club's forwards.
Stewart, who is a player-coach at Newton Abbot after returning to Devon following a spell playing in France, has been helping the team with their line-outs, which has been a major problem for them all season.
Saumi said: "He (Stewart) has come down this week to help out with the line-outs, which we have been struggling with.
"Danny Thomas has been coming but it is far for him to come from Bristol, whereas Colin lives in Plymouth and it is easy for him to come and help the boys.
"It was good to have him.
"We needed somebody as it is a load of things for me to do on my own. It is good to have him come and see the forwards while I do the backs or vice-versa."
When asked if Stewart's involvement might become a regular arrangement, Saumi said: "We will see how it goes. He has got his work and his studies and so we will have to see how he can compensate the time."
Saumi, though, certainly hopes Albion can improve on their set piece game this weekend against Moseley.
"Line-outs are key," said Saumi. "We have been struggling and, hopefully, getting Colin in will give our throwers and jumpers some confidence so we can start winning our own line-outs because if you don't win your balls it is hard to play rugby."