Cornish rugby preview
By Bill Hooper
Jack Nowell will be on the bench for England’s final match in this season’s RBS 6 Nations in Dublin on Saturday.
No doubt the boy from Newlyn will look to make an impact off the bench against a tiring Irish side as England look to make it back-to-back Grand Slams and Triple Crowns.
Camborne’s Michaella Roberts will also be on the bench for England Women Under 20s when they take on France in Mont-de-Marsan this evening.
The Cornish Pirates head up to Reading this weekend to take on runaway leaders London Irish at the Madjeski Stadium.
Pirates will be boosted going into the game with the knowledge that three more squad members have re-signed for next season, fly-half Laurence May, scrum-half Mike Pope and winger Kyle Moyle. That makes it 15 of the current squad retained thus far.
It will be a tough ask to get anything from a game against an Irish side that has won all sixteen of it’s games so far, but for the Cornish Pirates they need to get something from this fixture ahead of their next game at the Mennaye against Doncaster Knights if they are to have any hopes of making the play-offs this season.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s game, Cornish Pirates coach Gavin Cattle said. “Our result last weekend in Jersey was disappointing but down on resources I was super proud of the way the boys came back at the end. There are always things to learn from in defeat and on Saturday our aim is to right certain wrongs.
“We are doing the best we can really, and although flanker Alex Cheesman will miss the rest of the season with a hand injury it does give someone else an opportunity. Preparation-wise for another tough challenge, about to face the best team in the league, we have hopefully prepared well. Also, the return of our club captain Chris Morgan provides a boost, because as a leader he is someone the boys look to when the pressure comes on.”
Cattle went on to say. “It will be a huge occasion at the Madejski, where a bumper crowd is expected for their St. Patrick’s celebrations. For some of our younger members it will also be the biggest game they have played in, but again it is a great opportunity for our development on such an occasion.”
The Cornish Pirates full selection is as follows:-
Cornish Pirates: 15 Toby May, 14 Alex O’Meara, 13 Alex Dancer, 12 Nicolas De Battista, 11 Kyle Moyle, 10 Will Cargill, 9 Alex Day; 1 Marlen Walker, 2 Jack Innard, 3 Paul Andrew, 4 Chris Morgan (c), 5 Brett Beukeboom, 6 Jake Parker, 7 Dan Lee, 8 Tom Duncan.
Replacements: 16 Jack Andrew, 17 Luke Chapman, 18 John Stevens, 19 Bar Bartlett, 20 Mike Pope, 21 Laurence May, 22 Jack Arnott.
Elsewhere, the only league games in Cornwall this weekend involve the Cornwall League 1 & 2 clubs.
Hayle have stretched their advantage at the top of Cornwall 1 to ten points following their 69-0 win against Camborne School of Mines on Wednesday evening.
The Lions travel to Roseland looking to maintain their advantage for an immediate return to the Cornwall & Devon League next season.
There will be a real battle at the Sports centre in Newquay when third place Hornets take on second place Liskeard-Looe. The result of this game is likely to settle the play-off spot.
In the other games, Helston take on Veor, whilst St. Agnes entertain Camborne School of Mines.
In Cornwall 2, Illogan Park seek to leap-frog Lankelly-Fowey, who have no game, at the top when they entertain Perranporth. Camelford take on Redruth Albany and St. Just play Stithians.
There are national cup competitions divisional finals taking place this weekend that could see Cornish sides through to national semi-finals.
Truro travel to Swanage & Wareham for their Intermediate Cup last eight tie. The boys will give it their all in a bid to make the last four in what will be a tight game between two sides in good form. Good support from Truro are travelling up to support the lads.
Meanwhile London Cornish in the same competition take on Charlton Park, should they win they will entertain the winner of the Swanage & Wareham / Truro tie for the right to play at Twickenham.
Saltash take on Swindon College Old Boys in the Senior Vase and they too will be looking to make the last four of this competition.
There is also the first of this season’s Tribute Cornwall Cup semi-finals taking place this Saturday when St. Austell entertain Falmouth.
The second semi-final will take place on Sunday 26th March with Wadebridge Camels playing Truro.
On Sunday, Cornwall Under 20s travel to take on unbeaten Hampshire Under 20s at Overton RFC. It’s the final round of pool games and following Cornwall’s loss to Gloucestershire three weeks ago they need to win to progress to the quarter-finals.
Also on Sunday, St. Austell Colts travel to Guildford for their National Colts Cup quarter-final
Sunday 19th March 2017
UNDER 20 COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP POOL STAGE
HAMPSHIRE – CORNWALL @Overton RFC 13:00
COLTS NATIONAL CUP QUARTER-FINAL
GUILDFORD – ST. AUSTELL 13:00
Saturday 18th March 2017
GREENE KING RFU CHAMPIONSHIP
LONDON IRISH – CORNISH PIRATES 14:00
TRIBUTE CORNWALL 1
HELSTON – VEOR
NEWQUAY HORNETS – LISKEARD-LOOE
ROSELAND – HAYLE
- AGNES – CAMBORNE SCHOOL OF MINES
TRIBUTE CORNWALL 2
CAMELFORD – REDRUTH ALBANY
ILLOGAN PARK – PERRANPORTH
- JUST – STITHIANS
SW INTERMEDIATE CUP FINAL
SWANAGE & WAREHAM – TRURO 14:30
LONDON & SE INTERMEDIATE CUP FINAL
LONDON CORNISH – CHARLTON PARK 14:00
SW SENIOR VASE FINAL
SALTASH – SWINDON COLLEGE OBs 14:00
TRIBUTE CORNWALL CUP SEMI-FINAL
- AUSTELL – FALMOUTH 14:30