Cornwall team named for Championship opener v Surrey
Captain Kyle Marriot lifts the trophy for Cornwall last year

Bill Hooper reports

Cornwall selects side for Championship opener

Cornwall have named their side to face Surrey at Richmond in the first game of this season’s Bill Beaumont Cup games.

The side, as expected, shows several changes to the one that retained the Cup at Twickenham last May 35-13 against Cheshire. From the twenty-two that wore the black and gold that day just six, Richard Brown, Craig Williams, Tony Whittle, Chris Fuca, Robin Wedlake and Lewis Vinnicombe, feature in this first squad, although one place on the bench remains to be filled.

For various reasons some players are not available for this first game and may come in to the side in subsequent games.

As expected there is a strong Redruth presence in the squad with the Reds providing no less than eight players in the starting XV.

Full-back Joe Elderkin is a new cap for Cornwall following his excellent showing during the second half of the season for Redruth, whilst Plymouth Albion’s Fijian centre Setareki Raumakita also makes his debut for Cornwall.

Cornwall captain Jake Murphy said. “Asked to captain Cornwall this season is a fantastic honour and I am really proud to be given the role.  The enlarged squad has been together since February and we have become a tight knit bunch of guys from many different clubs. We hope our fantastic support led by Trelawny’s Army and expats from around the country will come out in force at Richmond to lift the guys for this important first game.”

Speaking ahead of the game head coach Graham Dawe said. “The 2017 season is upon us and this first match has allowed us to consider players who were not available for the Tamar Cup squad. From our initial squad we have selected our 22; other players will be available and in contention for the next game. No one’s place is guaranteed, and competition for squad places is still very much available to all members of the enlarged squad”

Cornwall next face Devon at Ivybridge RFC on Saturday 13 May. The following week they host Hertfordshire at Camborne RFC on Saturday 20 May.

Cornwall (Redruth unless stated): J Elderkin,  L Vinnicombe, S Raumakita (Plymouth Albion), J Murphy (Barnstaple) (capt), R Wedlake (Plymouth Albion), D Mankee (Camborne), J Oulton; T Phillips, R Brown, C Williams, B Jenkins (Barnstple), T Whittle (Camborne), C Fuca, G Jones (Penryn), BJ Chapman.

Replacements: A Zacharovas (Camborne), D Connor (Brixham), B Howe, G Randlesome (Penryn), T Notman, J Simmons (Camborne), A.N. Other

Travelling Reserves: D Matthews, S Buzza, R Friend (Okehampton)

Can the Black & Gold make it three in a row?

County Championship Group fixtures

Saturday 6th May 2017 – Surrey v Cornwall at Richmond RFC

Saturday 13th May 2017 – Devon v Cornwall at Ivybridge RFC

Saturday 20th May 2017 – Cornwall v Hertfordshire at Camborne RFC

Final at Twickenham Sunday 28th May