Cornish Pirates forced into changes by injuries
The Cornish Pirates have made six changes for their Championship visit to league leaders Newcastle Falcons tonight.
The Pirates have named an entirely new front row, recalled Aaron Penberthy and Owen Hambly from their loan spells at Redruth and awarded wing Ashley Smith his first start since arriving on loan from London Welsh.
However, Ian Davies' side, who lost at home to London Scottish last weekend, are still without senior players such as Gavin Cattle (hip injury), Alan Paver (bicep), Laurie McGlone (head), Ben Maidment (hamstring) and Matt Evans (tendonitis).
Davies said: "There are people like Paul Andrew, Junior Fatialofa and Tom Riley who have all got niggles and knocks.
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"Ideally, we would have liked to have left them out to get a full rest before a massive game against Leeds coming up.
"Unfortunately, we can't do that. We have got guys who will only go on if we need through injury rather than a tactical issue because of the knocks they are carrying."
The Falcons also have injury concerns but have been able to name an unchanged backline as they look to seal their safe passage through to the play-offs this weekend.
In the pack, prop Grant Shiells replaces Jonny Golding, who is ruled out with a slight knock, while Rob Vickers misses out with a calf injury. Matt Thompson pulls on the No.2 jersey while James Hudson and Mark Wilson round off the changes as James Goode and Taiasina Tu'ifua both drop to the bench.
Cornish Pirates: Davies; Mercer, Pointer, Bedford, Smith; Penberthy, Kessell; Storer, Semmens, Joyce; Johnson (capt), Barry; Cheeseman, Burgess, Tyas. Replacements: Andrew, Elloway, Prescott, Lyons, Marriott, Hambly, Riley.