Let's restore some pride, Saumi urges Albion team
PLYMOUTH Albion coach Nat Saumi wants his team to restore some pride tomorrow night when they travel to Ireland to take on Munster A in their final British & Irish Cup Pool 7 match.
Saumi was unhappy with his side's performance last week when they were beaten 21-3 at home in the cup to Championship rivals Rotherham – a result which ended their hopes of progressing in the competition.
The Albion boss criticised his team for lacking passion and urgency in that match.
He has now told them to try to make amends tomorrow in a game they only have pride to play for.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
"It was not hard to pick a team this week," said Saumi, who welcomes back the experienced Sam Hocking, Aaron Carpenter, Rupeni Nasiga and Keni Fisilau.
"We are going to Ireland just to bring some pride back to the club.
"Players have to play for the shirt and show that passion again that we talked about after last week."
Although Saumi brings back internationals Carpenter, Nasiga and Fisilau, as well as fit-again Sam Hocking, Tom Bowen and Lewis Warner, he rests Sean-Michael Stephen, Brett Beukeboom and Paul Roberts.
"Some players are rested because of the Championship game we have coming up next week (against Moseley)," said Saumi.
"But the boys that are selected again have another chance to redeem themselves and fight for a place against Moseley."
Saumi knows that Championship clash against Moseley on January 26 is a game Albion cannot afford to lose if they want to stay out of a relegation fight.
"Everyone knows that is a big game, certainly the players," said Saumi. "But the players that have been chosen to represent the club this week are fighting for places. They want to be involved in that Moseley game."
Saumi admitted it has been a tough few days for the team following last Saturday's disappointing display at home to Rotherham.
"They know how frustrated they are," said Saumi. "Everyone was frustrated with that performance, but they felt it the worst.
"But it is in their hands. They are the ones who are playing the game. They are hurting and hopefully they will put in a good performance this week."
He added: "This week is another challenge for the boys, going out there to Munster, who are one of the big clubs.
"It is a test of character for the team, but hopefully, they will put in a good performance."
Canadian international Carpenter will skipper Albion tomorrow.
England Under-20 international Luke Cowan-Dickie continues at hooker, while there is a first start for dual-registered Exeter Chiefs prop Alex Brown.
Brown came on as a replacement for his Albion debut last week against Rotherham.
However, the big surprise in the starting line-up is at fly-half, where Ruairi Cushion is handed the number 10 shirt.
Irish scrum-half Cushion has come on as a replacement and played there in two cup games, but he has never started a match at fly-half for Albion.
Cushion will also be handed the goalkicking duties in his native Ireland.
"He has been doing some kicking practice," said Saumi.
He added: "Ruairi knows what type of rugby we want to play and it is a chance for him to work with Paul Rowley and give Paul Roberts, who has been involved in every game this season, a break.
"Paul Bailey is on the bench and he can step up and also play there (fly-half)."
Henry Slade and Jack Arnott were unavailable this week as they are away with the England Under-20 squad.
England, though, have allowed Cowan-Dickie to play for Albion.
Albion: 15 Rhodri McAtee, 14 Lewis Warner, 13 Keni Fislau, 12 Bevon Armitage, 11 Tom Bowen, 10 Ruairi Cushion, 9 Paul Rowley, 1 Jack Andrew, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 3 Alex Brown, 4 Harrison Tovey, 5 Will Carrick-Smith, 6 Rupeni Nasiga, 7 Sam Hocking, 8 Aaron Carpenter (capt). Reps: Paul Bailey, Toby Howley-Berridge, Ben Rogers, Lloyd Fairbrother, Jamie Salter, Herbie Stupple, Sam Matavesi