WING man Lewis Warner insists Friday night’s British & Irish Cup clash in Munster is an important one for Plymouth Albion’s developing team.
Warner returns to Albion’s side after being sidelined for nearly a month by a shoulder injury sustained against Nottingham in a league game.
He said: “I’m excited to be back – I’ve been out for three weeks and it’s been a bit of a nightmare.
“I think the British & Irish Cup has been a good opportunity to show what we can do.
“We’ve had a strong cup run and we beat Munster here (at Brickfields) and we want to go out there and get another win, if we can.”
Defeat in Ireland would not be the end of the cup line as far as Albion are concerned, although victory would practically seal a quarter-final place.
If Plymouth lost, they have two games remaining to enable them to progress in the competition.
They take on Nottingham and Stirling in their final two matches.
Both teams are behind them in their pool, with Stirling without a single point so far.
Munster are four points behind Albion and defeat on Friday night would give their opponents an opportunity to make a fight of the passage to the quarter-finals.
Warner and his team-mates would prefer that not to be an issue.
He said: “If we win this game, then we’ll be eight points clear of Munster.
“We’ve done a video session of the last game and we’ve highlighted their weaknesses and how we can exploit them, and it is important that we do that.”
Warner sees the cup as an opportunity for the team to flourish in a way the Championship does not.
The competition gives the players more time to build as a unit.
Warner said: “It (the cup) is really important, as with our league results, we’re not realistically going to challenge for a top four spot this season.
“We’re very new as a team and we’re not the finished article yet.
“We are beginning to be a more cohesive unit, but everyone’s a different player.
“It’s all about 18 players working together.”
Head coach James Shanahan will add Exeter Chiefs lock Romana Graham to his line-up in Ireland tonight.
Graham is on a short-term loan from the Premiership side to give the New Zealander some match-time.
Shanahan had also hoped to borrow Fijian international Sireli Naqelevuki from Chiefs, but the deal fell through because of visa problems.