HEAD coach Will Croker believes Bournemouth will have to show their physicality in an “uncompromising” task at Exmouth on Saturday (2.30pm).

Lions make the trip to Devon on their return to South West Premier action, having overcome London One South Tottonians 58-25 in the Hampshire Senior Cup last time out.

The director of rugby used the cup clash to blood some fresh faces.

But having insisted a number of familiar names will be back on the team-sheet, he is expecting his first-team regulars to put in a big performance.

Exmouth are currently third in South West Premier, having been relegated after finishing bottom of National Two South last season.

Croker told the Daily Echo: “They came down from National Two South so will already be battle-hardened.

“I was expecting them to be up there. I think I said right at the get-go, I thought it was going to be Exmouth or Dings. I still believe we can have a part to play in it.

“Exmouth will be big and tough, it’s a hard place to play.

“It’s not a ground which is particularly inviting to the opposition, they make it like that.

“They will be hard and uncompromising and we know we will have to be physical.

“If we can match their physicality then I believe we have a really good opportunity, with the skills-set we have, to be able to push them all the way.”

Bournemouth have won three of their opening six league fixtures this season and Croker believes the mood in the camp is positive: “We had a very positive squad meeting and looked at where we were based on being a quarter of the way through.

“If you look at the games we have lost, nobody has given us a pasting. We could have, in theory, won all of them.

“We know if we string together a run of positive games, the confidence, belief and trust we have in the squad will grow.”