Leeson has faith in Sarries despite making changes for cup
HOSTS Tamar Saracens make changes for tomorrow's Lockie Cup clash with Old Technicians at Parkway (3pm).
Sarries opened their Devon Two campaign with an emphatic 36-6 victory at home to local rivals Devonport High School Old Boys last time out.
They face another Devon Two side in the cup tomorrow, but with a reshuffled line up, including new signing Sam Parker.
Dan Leeson, Sarries' coach, says the priority this season has to be winning promotion back to Devon One, and with a trip to Ilfracombe coming up on Saturday, September 29, resting some and trying out other squad players is the chosen way forward.
He said: "We've got one or two people unavailable, but will still have a strong side out.
"However, with the league our main focus this season, this cup match gives me the ideal opportunity of resting one or two players and trying out some others.
"We've got Adam Coutts coming in at hooker, so James McFarlane is given a breather and drops down to the bench.
"We also want to check out Tom Siggery at flanker, another youngster Ryan Morgan on the wing and new signing Sam Parker in place of Simon Ebsworth at 15.
"Simon will move to centre from full-back for what will be a tough game against Techs – there are never any easy ones against them."
Leeson added that Saracens are still trying to sort out a fixture for their second XV, who have a blank Saturday.
There will be two sets of brothers in Sarries' squad to play the Old Boys: Adam, Craig and Alex Coutts, plus Ed and Chris Cox.
Saracens: Mark Rennie; Adam Coutts, Kenny Rapson, Alex Israel, Ed Cox, Tom Siggery, Steph Jones, Chris Cox (capt); Sam Parker, Ryan Morgan, Ben Ashton, Simon Ebsworth, Lee Mather, Hayden Coles, Craig Coutts. Reps: James McFarlane, Lewis Deacon, Brendan Bevan, Alex Coutts
OLD Techs chairman John Young and head coach Nigel Bullock have been handed a difficult team selection decision – and they love it.
Techs weren't naming even a squad to take on Sarries in their Lockie Cup clash until late last night because they have so many players to choose from.
The reason is that the city club have resurrected their second team for the first time in a decade.
And that means more players clamouring for first team spots.
Techs, as well as their Lockie Cup date at Ernesettle Lane, have an Ellis Cup fixture at Plymstock Albion Oaks.
Young said: "It's a dilemma to know who to pick – for the first time in 10 years we've got two teams to choose from.
"The fact is, we're going to have a good old battle at both matches.
"So, we have to make sure we get it right."
DHSOB lost last week to a powerful Sarries side – and tomorrow boss Mike Freeman's outfit takes on the vastly-improved Plymouth Argaum, who came within a point of inflicting a defeat on Techs last weekend.
Old Boys kick off their Lockie Cup campaign at Stonehouse Creek tomorrow (3pm), with Freeman expecting to retain much of the team which did so well against Saracens for long periods last week.
Jamie Burton, Del Jenkins and Lee Ingram come back into the reckoning, but Freeman said: "I should think most of last week's team will keep their places – they did very well at Tamar Saracens."
He added: "On paper, perhaps it would be expected that we would beat Argaum, but we respect them.
"They haven't been doing so well in recent seasons and it's pleasing to see them come out of the ashes.
"Argaum are no longer the whipping boys of the league."