Barnstaple sign Bude forward James Comber
JAMES COMBER is set to make his debut for Barnstaple in tomorrow's home game against Amersham and Chiltern.
Comber has been first-choice No 8 at Bude in Tribute Western Counties (west) and previously played in the back row for Cheltenham.
His signing will help Barum cover the loss of Gary Turner, who is resting a shoulder problem before leaving for a long-term trip to New Zealand.
Comber is expected start at No 8 in tomorrow's game against in-form Amersham at Pottington Road (2.30pm), with Kele Taofinu'u likely to move to the second row, where Barnstaple are missing Tom Skelding through illness.
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Comber, 28, captained Cheltenham during their South West One (east) title-winning season in 2009-10 and played against Barnstaple in National Three south west in the following season.
A strong tackler and ball-carrier, he was man of the match in Bude's 5-5 draw at Bideford before Christmas.
He has scored three tries this season and helped the team go on a five-game unbeaten run.
Kevin Squire, the Barnstaple director of rugby, said: "James trained with us last night and looked really sharp. I have got big hopes for him.
"He has got a bit of pedigree and a bit of experience at our level."
Bideford, who travel to Devonport Services tomorrow, make one change to the team who started their last two fixtures against Bude and Barnstaple.
Pete Hockridge comes in for Jamie Giddy at open-side flanker.
Andrew Loosemore, the captain, is fit to start at centre despite suffering a gash to his head in the Boxing Day derby with Barnstaple.
Unbeaten in five Western Counties games, Bideford are eight points behind leaders St Austell, who visit Kingsbridge this weekend.