New number 8 Chris Brady will be thrown into the deep end in his first match for Eastbourne in their crunch relegation clash against Park House this Saturday.
Replacing Neil Davie, who is out for the season after undergoing a shoulder operation, Brady will need to be at his best to help halt Eastbourne’s losing streak.
Head coach Roger Stanley praised his new eightman, “He’s been with us training for three weeks now, he’s a committed player and a big lad.
“Fair play to him, he has an edge to his play, which is something we really need at this stage.”
After a week off, Eastbourne go into the fixture having lost all eight league games, and with weekend visitors Park House directly above them in the London South East Division Three, the match takes on monumental significance.
Stanley was under no illusions of the importance of the game, “It’s all-important now really, given the positions of both clubs, so in that sense it’s a relegation battle.”
Eastbourne will be pleased to welcome back Paul Keen at scrum-half, with Tom Plantrose also returning at stand-off to bolster the squad. However, Oli Brooks remains sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Despite going without a league win all season, Stanley denies morale is low in the camp, “We had a good training session on Tuesday night, and the players were very buoyant at the end.
“The key thing is when we go a couple of tries down, the guys have that element of ‘here we go again’, which we need to eradicate.
“But morale isn’t bad, we just need that win for the confidence of the team - it’s vital that the pack performs well collectively.”
Newest pack member Brady will need his ‘edge’ more than ever on Saturday to give the home side a fighting chance.
EASTBOURNE’S Neil Davie is out with a shoulder injury