TAUNTON Titans have two key players back in the side for the visit to Shelford in National League 2 on Saturday (3pm).
One of those is experienced lock Marshall Cormack who has been serving with the Navy in Afghanistan since playing in the first five games of the season.
The other is the versatile Charlie Walker-Blair who was at the club when Taunton gained promotion to National League 2 South before moving on to Premiership outfit Exeter Chiefs.
Walker-Blair has suffered a couple of injuries in his time away from Taunton. And after playing for Exeter, Cornish Pirates and Jersey before taking a few months to help the injuries heal, he is now back keen to get some rugby under his belt.
Head coach Tony Yapp said: “We are very happy to have Charlie back with us, he is a great player and one that could easily be playing at a higher level.
“We have kept a close eye on his career since he left Taunton and kept in touch with him throughout. Charlie has been extremely unlucky with injuries and over the past couple of seasons and has come back to us on and off to join in with training to get himself fit.
“Having played with Charlie and seen him training recently I know he is going to bring so much to the team.
“His attitude is spot on and he’s a very physical player. We are very excited to have him back in a Titans shirt and look forward to seeing him play.”
After Titans’ 24-5 defeat of Dings Crusaders at Hyde Park last weekend – when Walker-Blair made a comeback appearance in the centre – Titans are looking to eradicate the memory of their last away trip.
That came on December 14 when they lost heavily at London Irish Wild Geese after a performance described by Yapp as Titans’ ‘worst of the season’.
He said: “The players this week will have to be mentally prepared against a team that is in top form. They have won their last three games and will be out for revenge after losing to us 25-19 at Hyde Park in September.
Forwards coach Chris Brown said: “Shelford is a difficult place to go. They have knocked over Cambridge recently on their own patch and are particularly stubborn. “We will have to ensure that we are accurate at set pieces and embrace the physical challenge which are the essential constituents of winning on the road.
“The result earlier in the season was pleasing for us and we understand what it takes to win.
“We know they are tenacious but we have also found some good form in recent months and this challenge comes at just the right time for us.”
With the festive period giving the squad some time to rest up and clear any niggling injuries, Titans have nearly the whole squad available.