HEAD coach Will Croker believes Sam Hardcastle’s explosive showing against Barnstaple illustrates the depth in the Bournemouth squad.

The experienced Hardcastle tore into the Devon side in the early exchanges of last Saturday’s 38-24 win in South West Premier, scoring two tries and directing attacking operations.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s trip to Weston-super-Mare, Croker told the Daily Echo: “We are blessed as we have strength in depth and people are playing for the shirts.

“Sam has been on the bench a couple of times recently and he hates it. He is a club stalwart who has always started and doesn’t like the idea of it not being him.

“But when you have got Mike Pope who can run at nine, Grant Hancox who can run at nine and Adam Davies who can run at 10, we have options.

“Sam was peerless in the first 25 minutes against Barnstaple. He was sensationally good and that’s because there is competition for the shirt. He had a shot and took it.”

Lions face a Weston side which is off the back of narrow losses to Barnstaple and Exeter University.

Croker said: “We will be full of confidence but we know it’s a very tough place to go and a long old journey.

“My understanding is that Weston have picked up a few boys from Hornets and are looking to really push on.”

Lions: Lynch, Stewart, Hancox, Chislett, Higgins, Pope, Hardcastle, Davies, Tarrant, Firetto, Roberts, Hennings, Manning, Flett, Renwick. Replacements: Bennett, Jeffes, MacDonald.