EXMOUTH go into their final warm-up game against Cullompton with head coach Jon Hill still unsure of his best starting line-up.
The Cockles host the Mid Devon outfit at the Imperial Ground tomorrow (Friday) – eight days before they begin their National Two South campaign at home against Chinnor.
Hill has named a squad of 30 players for the match against Cullompton (7pm) as he bids to find out his strongest XV.
But with five replacements allowed in the league, he has to cut that down to 20 before they get into the competitive business.
"I still couldn't tell you what the starting XV will be next week or what our strongest team is, there are still 30 players fighting it out," Hill said.
"This game is the casting vote because we have to narrow that squad of 30 down to a squad of 20 for the Chinnor game.
"It's about testing our guys and whether we can take the lessons we've learned from the last couple of weeks and put them into practice and play at the same sort of intensity as we did against Exeter last Wednesday.
"We've got a number of new signings in the squad (against Cullompton) and for them it's about understanding our systems of attack and defence and trying to move that forward.
"In training we are moving forward, in the games we've had so far we've moved forward, and now we have to progress so we are understanding what we are trying to achieve by September 7."
Six summer signings have been named in the Exmouth line-up for Friday's match, with Chris Bentley and Tom Emery up front, half-backs Richard Bolt and Rob Avery-Wright, centre Sam Jones and winger Richard Bright all starting.
In addition, hooker Jack Holmes is on the bench as he looks to complete a move to the Cockles.
A former Leicester academy member, Holmes is having a trial with Exmouth and Hill is keen to see how he gets on, with Emery the only senior hooker on the books at the moment.
"Jack Holmes is going to be part of the wider Chiefs academy after coming down from Leicester academy," he said.
"We only have one senior hooker as Mike Wilson has left and Lloyd Morgan is going travelling this week so we want to have a look at Jack."
The match against Cullompton comes after Exmouth played two games last week. They went down to a 19-10 loss against an Exeter Chiefs academy XV last Wednesday and, the following evening, won 24-0 away to Bridgwater & Albion.
Former Crediton youngster Avery-Wright converted Richard Bright's try and kicked a penalty against Exeter.
Fielding a totally different starting XV against Bridgwater, Exmouth scored tries through Matt Garner, Garry Hooper, Andrew Powell and Tom Hodge. Rich Cadywould slotted two conversions.
And Hill was happy with the improvements his side made after a 55-14 defeat at the hands of Plymouth Albion the weekend before.
"I was massively pleased and delighted with the performance," said Hill of the display against Exeter's academy.
"Our defensive shape and execution was 100 times better than it was against Plymouth Albion.
"We learned a lot of lessons and the pace of the game was just as quick if not quicker than the Albion game so there are already signs that we are improving as a squad the more we play together.
"There's been a lot of change in the squad and it will take a bit of time for it to bed in a little bit but the signs are very encouraging. We were able to play at the same pace as the Chiefs for long periods.
"There was a big contest at the breakdown and we asked them a lot of questions at every breakdown, which is what we aim to do.
"There was a huge workrate from the guys and a much improved performance so we're really looking forward to the game on Friday. We hope we can move it on again ready for our first league game."
Friday's game will be Powell's last for the club as the New Zealander's visa prevents him playing in National Two South.
Exmouth: Fabian; Bright, Jones, Wathes, Downie; Avery-Wright, Bolt; Savage, Emery, Berry, Bentley, Lowe, Harris, Bargent, Morshead. Reps: Halse, Holmes, Pullinger, Garrett, Westlake, Pyne, Wright, Lowry, Hooper, Cadywould, Hill, Goldman, M Garner, Ryan, Powell