Pirates fans look forward to rugby feast at the Mennaye
THE Cornish Pirates bring their pre-season programme of fixtures home to the Mennaye Field this weekend holding a Festival of Rugby which sees them in action on Friday and Saturday evenings, writes Dick Straughan.
They open against a Cornwall Clubs XV tomorrow (kick-off 7.30pm) in a match which will be played under the new floodlights, and then continue on Saturday with a triangular tournament against St Austell and Cinderford (5pm).
The fixture against Cornwall Clubs XV is part of the drive by the Pirates to build stronger links with the whole of Cornwall's rugby community and also to showcase an enhanced matchday experience for fans at the Mennaye Field.
Ex-Cornwall head coach Benji Thomas will take charge of the Clubs XV along with Pirates stalwarts Alan Paver and Gavin Cattle, and their team for the game includes the talented half-back pairing of Camborne's Dave Mankee and St Austell's Matt Shepherd.
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Camborne also provide up and coming lock James Goldsworthy whilst Dean Bonds from Redruth is named on the wing. The Pirates Amateurs provide two players and there are also representatives from the RNAS Culdrose and Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service teams respectively.
The clash with National League One side Cinderford and St Austell from South West One will be a repeat of the format used at Polson Bridge three weeks ago when the Pirates also met the Saints. Each team will play each other in a 40 minute game.
Cornish Pirates head coach IanDavies expects to field everyone in his squad who is available over the two games and will welcome back Canadian duo Matt Evans and Aaron Carpenter following their World Cup commitments in Toronto last weekend.
Laurie McGlone, Kieran Goss and hooker Tom Channon are fit along with Junior Fatialofa while Tom Hendrickson returns from Exeter Chiefs duties and a run-out for Redruth against Plymouth.
Missing from action through injury are Shane Cahill, Alex Dancer, Neale Patrick and Will Graulich.
Cornish Pirates (from): Bodilly, Cattle, Fatialofa, Goss, Hallett, Hendrickson, Holland, James, Jones, Kessell, Moyle, Conlon, Pope, Riley; Andrew, Atkinson, Barry, Bolwell, Channon, Cheesman, Elloway, Johnson, Maidment, Marriott, Morgan, Parker, Prescott, Tincknell, Sinclair, Stevens, Sandford, Paver, McGlone, Evans, Carpenter.
Cornwall Clubs XV: 15. Ryan Bennetts (Illogan P),14. Ryan Forrester (Pirate Amateurs),13. Scott Murray (Hayle), 12. Tom Nicholas (St Ives), 11. Dean Bonds (Redruth), 10. David Mankee (Camborne), 9. Matt Shepherd (St Austell), 1.Harry Martin (Falmouth), 2. Daryl Harding(St Agnes), 3. Scott Hedge (Redruth Al), 4.Adam Pearce (St Austell), 5. James Goldsworthy (Camborne), 6. Jordan Rose (Penryn), 7. Jordan Duke (Launceston), 8.Nathan Chapman (Roseland). Replacements: 16.Ben Taylor (St Ives), 17.David Penrose (Hayle), 18.Ashley Mason Maxwell (Lankelly-Fowey), 19. Sam Marment (St Just), 20.Mattew O'Leary (Pirate Amateurs), 21.Adam Kellow (St Austell), 22.Jack Oulton (Wadebridge Camels), 23.Kava (RNAS Culdrose), 24.Colin Rees (Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service), 25.Chaz Buscombe (Perranporth), 26.Carl Ranscombe (Truro).