Carpenter looks to help Cornish Pirates make the cut in British & Irish Cup
The Cornish Pirates will be led into battle by Canada skipper Aaron Carpenter as they face Ayr at the Mennaye Field in their penultimate British & Irish Cup Pool 6 match on Sunday (3pm).
The Pirates need one point from the match to qualify for the quarter final as group winners but head coach Ian Davies has nevertheless named a strong team to face the Scottish Premiership Champions.
Alex Dancer, who performed well in his first Championship start at Rotherham last weekend, keeps his place at centre and Kyle Moyle, a late replacement at Clifton Lane, comes in on the wing. Angus Sinclair starts at fly-half.
In the forwards the front row is unchanged apart from Carpenter who comes in for Rob Elloway and Will Graulich is recalled at lock.
In the back row there are places for Jake Parker and Joe Atkinson in place of Chris Morgan and England Under-20 squad member Joel Conlon.
Hooker Tom Channon has recovered from a shoulder problem and takes his place on the replacement bench along with Tom Duncan who is finally ready for his first start of the season following a long injury lay-off. Tom Riley is set to make his 50th appearance for the Cornish club.
Ayr have several players unavailable due to work and university commitments, which allows others to get some first team experience. Craig Brown starts at lock, with Danny McCluskey, who featured against the Pirates at Millbrae, and Stewart Walker named amongst the replacements. Regional Academy and former Ayr player Ben Johnston is also on the bench.
Former Millbrae men Mark Bennett and Gordon Reid have been released by Glasgow Warriors and take their places at outside centre and prop respectively. Fellow Warrior Fraser Brown starts at openside flanker. Robbie Fergusson moves to full back and Dean Kelbrick captains the side for the first time.
Cornish Pirates: 15 Craig Holland, 14 Mike Pope, 13 Alex Dancer, 12 Rheon James, 11 Kyle Moyle, 10 Angus Sinclair, 9 Tom Kessell; 1 Kieran Davies, 2 Aaron Carpenter (capt), 3 Jack Andrew, 4 Neale Patrick, 5 Will Graulich, 6 Jake Parker, 7 Joe Atkinson, 8 James Phillips. Replacements: 16 Tom Channon, 17 Ben Prescott, 18 Darren Barry, 19 Alex Cheesman, 20 Tom Duncan, 21 Tom Riley, 22 Tom Hendrickson.
Ayr: 15 Robbie Fergusson, 14 Craig Gossman, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Dean Kelbrick (capt), 11 Kerr Gossman; 10 Finn Russell, 9 Murray McConnell; 1 Gordon Reid, 2 Fergus Scott, 3 Nick Cox; 4 Craig Brown, 5 Callum Templeton; 6 Andrew Dunlop, 7 Fraser Brown, 8 Peter McCallum. Replacements:- 16 George Hunter, 17 D'arcy Rae, 18 Stewart Walker, 19 Ben Johnston, 20 Peter Jericevich, 21 Sylvain Diez, 22 Danny McCluskey.
Referee: David Proctor (RFU); Assistants: Nick Williams & Michael Patz