Ian Smith expects to have his front row restored to full strength for this Sunday’s testing National One trip to Cornish Pirates.
The Moseley head coach has been forced to adopt an eclectic policy in recent weeks following injuries to three of his four first team props with a dip into regional rugby and a hastily arranged loan of Yann Thomas from Gloucester.
The 18-year-old came into the Moseley squad just two days before it travelled down to Devon to face Plymouth Albion where Smith was forced to play Nathan Williams on the unfamiliar tighthead side, the teenager at loosehead and Terry Sigley on the bench despite the fact the veteran was still feeling the effects of a shoulder problem.
But Smith hopes to be able to call on a healthy Sigley for this weekend’s jaunt down to Camborne as well as back-ups George Davis and Ben Buxton, the former having recovered from a bang on the head and the latter from minor surgery to remove an abscess.
“They should all be fine,” Smith said. “In effect Terry will have had two weeks off by the time we play so hopefully that will stand him in good stead.
“There was a pressure on the replacements to front up at Plymouth last Saturday and I thought we did quite well in the scrum.”
Indeed Moseley did reasonably well all over the pitch and feel they merited something other than a 26-17 defeat from a match in which they played most of the rugby.
It was only a period in the last 15 minutes of the first half in which Moseley allowed their opponents to rack up the decisive points. During that time Thomas impressed and what Smith must do now is agree with Gloucester how often he can be used.
“Yann would certainly be a valuable member for us – whether we can get access to him we will have to discuss.”
Whether he can join Moseley in Cornwall this weekend, however, is not clear. The youngster has been called up into the England Under 19 squad for this Friday’s match with France.
He is joined by fellow dual registered team-mate Jordi Pasqualin who may also be unavailable, depending on how much game time either player gets on Friday night. If Pasqualin is not ready the returning James Ireland could step up to the bench, having played another half of rugby in Monday’s A team game at Nottingham.
Smith hopes their chances of Moseley arresting a three game losing streak will be improved by what he detects as an upturn in performance levels against Nottingham last Saturday week and at Brickfields.
Although both matches ended in creditable defeats, Smith was considerably more happy with his team’s display than in previous matches.
“We controlled the vast majority of the game in terms of territory and possession against Plymouth,” he said. “We lacked a little bit of cutting edge getting behind them and had a catastrophic quarter of an hour.
“But we did not chase the game, we played constructively and probably deserved a bit more.”