Barnstaple make a belated start to the South West Premier season this Saturday when Bracknell visit Pottington Road.

The division is one club down this year following the withdrawal of Birmingham-Solihull from a higher division and the knock-on effect of no relegation in the SWP.

Barum have played two warm-up games so far, against Camborne and Exmouth, and lost both by narrow margins.

Jeremy Chugg, Barnstaple's chairman of rugby, said game time was more important than results in the warm-up games.

"We lost both games by a single score and got game time into players' legs," said Chugg.

Exeter Chiefs' duo Haydn Lidstone and Josh Davis, who are on a season-long secondment with Barnstaple, showed up well in both games.

"Josh on the wing has real pace, which we saw with two tries in each of the warm-up games," said Chugg.

Ins and outs have been limited at Pottington during the close season.

Scrum-half James Bath has switched to Exmouth to cut down on his training and match-day travelling. He lives near Exeter.

Lock Matt Hague has returned to Tiverton after three seasons with Barnstaple. Prop Kevin Angell has retired and Tony Papp has joined Exmouth.

Back-rower Jake Childs is back with the club after a break from the game.

Barnstaple finished second last season in the division but lost heavily in the promotion play-off at Westcliffe in Essex. Chugg hopes Barum will feature in the promotion race again.

"Last year Bournemouth dominated the division in a ridiculous way to the extent three or four of us were playing for second place a long way out," said Chugg.

"There is no team like Bournemouth in the division this year, although if Weston start as they finished last season they will be up there.

"Our aim is to get up there with the front runners and see where it takes us."