Pirates fine tune for Bath workout
THE Cornish Pirates travel to the Recreation Ground this Saturday as they complete their pre-season fixtures against Bath University (2.30pm).
With Premiership side Bath allowing the fixture to take place at their famous home on the banks of the River Avon the match will take the format of three 30 minute games as the Pirates look to fine tune their Championship plans.
Eight days later they begin their league season at Exeter`s Sandy Park against promotion favourites Bristol, and head coach Ian Davies knows exactly what he wants from his squad this weekend.
"I want to make sure especially that we top up on our fitness levels this week," he explained. "We will put in place things to take forward into the Bristol match in terms of our patters and set plays.
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"The squad for the Bristol game is now pretty close to being finalised but due to the number of bumps and bruises we picked up during the festival weekend we have had to adapt our training this week."
Davies has been keen to reiterate in the wake of last Saturday's home defeat to Cinderford (round-up, pages 82 & 83) that pre-season matches are not about the scoreline and said that this weekend the Pirates "will play in a certain way" for their benefit only.
And he hopes to have Junior Fatialofa fit for selection this weekend after the centre limped off during the 24-21 defeat.
Jake Parker is the main injury concern at the moment after injuring a hamstring and he could face two weeks on the sidelines, but Welsh centre Rheon James has almost recovered from a knock picked up against Saracens and should be fit.
Number 8 Lawrie McGlone came through his first action since mid-April scoring a brace of tries against the Gloucestershire side and Davies commented: "It was really good to see Lawrie back on the field and I thought he carried the ball superbly. The plan is for him to get 60 minutes of game time this weekend."
The Pirates have also received good news with dual-registered Exeter Chiefs back row Joel Conlon being called up to the England Under-20 squad for the coming season.
He follows in the recent footsteps of Jack Nowell, Sam Hill and Luke Cowan-Dickie and will hope to feature for his country as they seek to defend their Six Nations title in the New Year.
Cornish Pirates (from): Bodilly, Cattle, Dancer, Evans, Fatialofa, Goss, Hallett, Hendrickson, Holland, James, Jones, Kessell, Moyle, Conlon, Pope, Riley, Sinclair, Tincknell; Andrew, Atkinson, Barry, Bolwell, Cahill, Carpenter, Channon, Cheesman, Conlon, Elloway, Graulich, Johnson, Maidment, Marriott, McGlone, Morgan, Patrick, Paver, Prescott, Roach, Stevens, Sandford.
Josh Lewsey, who announced last week that he was stepping down from his role as the acting chief executive officer of the Cornish Pirates, has been appointed the new Head of Rugby for Wales.
The World Cup winner, who won 55 England caps, will begin his new role at the end of this month.
The 36-year-old, who has a home at St Agnes, will join the executive board of the WRU and will take operational and strategic management of the whole of the game in Wales from community to elite level outside Warren Gatland's senior international squad.
Lewsey has previously worked extremely closely with Warren Gatland and many of his backroom staff throughout at London Wasps winning two European Cups and four National Championships.