Cornish rugby preview
By Bill Hooper
A full program of league fixtures this weekend with the Cornish Pirates against Jersey on Sunday, St. Piran’s Day, likely to draw a big crowd.
It’s the first of two meetings between the clubs in the space of a week as Pirates travel to Jersey on Friday night for a British & Irish Cup quarterfinal tie.
Tom Duncan will captain the side on his 50th appearance; Max Bodilly also reaches the same landmark on Sunday. Josh Caulfield returns from England Under 20’s duty. Ahead of Sunday’s game, Cornish Pirates coach Gavin Cattle said. “Both teams have had their injury problems this season but have done very well. Our resources have certainly been a bit thin, however the team’s performances have displayed immense character, with there an obvious willingness to work for each other, which has been pleasing.
“As for this weekend, it’ll be a case of strapping up and cracking on again for what is yet another exciting challenge, involving two competitive sides making a spirited push for the top four.”
The Cornish Pirates full selection for Sunday is as follows:-
Cornish Pirates: 15 Toby May, 14 Alex O’Meara, 13 Max Bodilly, 12 Tom Hendrickson, 11 Kyle Moyle, 10 Laurence May, 9 Alex Day; 1 Marlen Walker, 2 Jack Innard, 3 Paul Andrew, 4 Jake Parker, 5 Josh Caulfield, 6 Alex Cheesman, 7 John Stevens, 8 Tom Duncan (capt).
Replacements: 16 Jack Andrew, 17 Luke Chapman, 18 Dan Lee, 19 Bar Bartlett, 20 Mike Pope, 21 Will Cargill, 22 Nicolas De Battista.
In a further development today the RFU have announced that as from next season the Championship end of season play-offs, involving the top four sides to decide promotion to the Premiership, is to be scrapped. The side finishing first at the end of the season will be promoted subject to satisfying the “minimum standards criteria.”
In National League 2 South Redruth make the long trip to Canterbury seeking to end their losing run. When the sides met earlier in the season it was Kent side that won at the Recreation Ground 34-26.
Chris Fuca moves into the second row this week to partner Luke Hattam, whilst Kyle Marriott returns at No.8. At fly-half there is a debut for new signing Joe Elderkin, with Joel Matavesi reverting to the centre alongside Pale Nonu. Matt Bowden retains his place on the wing with Alex Ducker still injured.
In National League 3 SW, second place Camborne entertain league leaders Old Redcliffians at the Recreation Ground. Old Reds won the fixture up in Bristol back in November 32-27, Town’s first defeat of the season, so the Cherry and Whites will be keen to put the record straight on Saturday.
Launceston are home to Bournemouth and will be looking for another win to keep their hopes alive of catching Lydney and avoiding the drop at the end of the season.
In Western Counties West, there are two local derbies, Truro take on St. Ives at St. Clements Hill, looking for a win to keep them near the top of the table.
Wadebridge Camels host Bude in a North Cornwall derby both sides needing the win to keep their season going.
St. Austell are at home to Devonport Services.
In the Cornwall & Devon League, another second v first fixture as Saltash take on Falmouth, the fixture has been moved across the Tamar due to the forecast weather and will be played on the 4g pitch at Keyham.
Congratulations to Cornwall Under 18 captain Jake Clemson (St. Ives) who has won selection for England Counties Under 18 tour to Ireland at Easter. The tour party will be managed by Dave Penberthy.
Sunday 5th March 2017 (St. Piran’s Day)
GREENE KING RFU CHAMPIONSHIP
CORNISH PIRATES – JERSEY REDS 2:00
Saturday 4th March 2017
SSE NATIONAL LEAGUE 2 SOUTH
CANTERBURY – REDRUTH 3:00
NATIONAL LEAGUE 3 SW
CAMBORNE – OLD REDCLIFFIANS 2:30
LAUNCESTON – BOURNEMOUTH
TRIBUTE WESTERN COUNTIES WEST
ST. AUSTELL – DEVONPORT SERVICES
TRURO – ST. IVES
WADEBRIDGE CAMELS – BUDE
LONDON 2 SW
EFFINGHAM & LEATHERHEAD – LONDON CORNISH
TRIBUTE CORNWALL & DEVON LEAGUE
PENRYN – LANNER
PIRATES AMATEURS – HONITON
PLYMSTOCK – BODMIN
SALTASH – FALMOUTH
TRIBUTE CORNWALL 1
LISKEARD – LOOE – CAMBORNE SCHOOL OF MINES
NEWQUAY HORNETS – VEOR
ROSELAND – HELSTON
- AGNES – HAYLE
TRIBUTE CORNWALL 2
ILLOGAN PARK – CAMELFORD
LANKELLY-FOWEY – PERRANPORTH
- JUST – REDRUTH ALBANY