Devon look to bounce back against Hampshire at Okehampton
DEVON will be aiming to bounce back from their opening day defeat when they entertain Hampshire at Okehampton on Saturday in their second Bill Beaumont County Championship match (3pm).
The Green and Whites were beaten 54-14 by a strong Gloucestershire side at Cinderford in their first group fixture last weekend.
Gloucestershire’s team was packed with National One players and they were too strong on the day for Devon.
“You can’t get away from the fact that it was a different level of players,” said Devon captain Wayne Sprangle. “They (Gloucestershire) had players who are playing at a higher level than us and that showed.
“But we are a young side and you can’t fault the guys’ effort. They did stick at it and it was nice to get a try at the end because we worked for it.”
Playing newly-promoted Hampshire at home will be a different task to last week.
Hampshire are also looking for their first win after they lost at home to Hertfordshire last weekend. They do not have any National League players in their side, which is based mainly around level six outfit Havant.
“This weekend we might be the team on paper that has players playing at a higher level,” said Sprangle. “But you can’t take any team for granted.
“We have said to the players that they need to try and right a few wrongs and play for that Devon shirt.”
Devon are boosted by the availability of Okehampton’s Tom McGratton and Plymouth Albion’s experienced scrum-half Cameron Setter, who we do not play last week.
Albion’s Dan Mugford will start on Saturday after coming on as a replacement at Cinderford.
Devon team to face Hampshire: 15 Charlie Briant (Ivybridge), 14 Billy Pinkus (Ivybridge), 13 Rhys Palmer (Okehampton), 12 Dan Mugford (Plymouth Albion), 11 Frank Kelly (Plymouth Albion), 10 Tom Putt (Unattached), 9 Ben Watts (Ivybridge), 1 Matt Dowrick (Newton Abbot), 2 Ashlee Crouch (Plymouth Albion), 3 Matt Finn (Ivybridge), 4 Jamie Tripcony (Ivybridge), 5 John Kelly (Plymouth Albion), 6 Caleb Sampson (Barnstaple), 7 Wayne Sprangle (Bridgwater), 8 Tom McGratton. Replacements: 16 Dean Avery (Unattached), 17 Olly Schuster-Wood (Cullompton), 18 Mark Friend, 19 Ben King (Ivybridge), 20 Cameron Setter (Plymouth Albion), 21 Mitch Pinkus (Brixham), 22 Lewis Paterson (Ivybridge).