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Ian Thatcher returns to beef up Barnstaple pack

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: January 10, 2013

CENTRAL FIGURE: James Comber, the former Bude No 8, had an outstanding debut for Barnstaple in their victory over Amersham and Chiltern. Picture: Derek Parnell

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JAMES COMBER made a try-scoring debut for Barnstaple.

The No 8 joined the National Three south west club from Bude, of Tribute Western Counties (west), last week.

Despite only having one training session with his new team-mates, Comber was one of their best players in a 35-7 win over Amersham and Chiltern and scored a pushover try.

Kevin Squire, the Barnstaple director of rugby, said: "It was a bit of a nervy day for him but he took everything in his stride.

"It's terrific when someone who is the best player in a team is prepared to step up and try a higher level. He didn't look out of place at all."

Comber is expected to keep his place for this weekend's match at Avonmouth Old Boys, where Barnstaple's pack will be beefed up by the return of Ian Thatcher.

The experienced forward will go straight into the second row for what is likely to be physical test.

Thatcher, a former Hampshire player, first joined Barnstaple in 2006 and played in the 2009 Devon Senior Cup winning team.

He appeared for the club's Development XV last season before turning out for South Molton in the current Tribute Devon One campaign.

With Gary Turner and Tom Skelding out through injury and illness respectively, Thatcher has agreed to return to Barnstaple.

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