Davies calls for response
WITH the RFU Championship taking a two week break the Cornish Pirates will begin their British & Irish Cup campaign on Sunday when they face Carmarthen Quins at the Mennaye Field (3pm).
The Welsh Premiership side are newcomers to the competition and like the Pirates, who won the inaugural tournament in 2010, have had a mixed start to their league season, posting three wins and four losses.
However, Pirates head coach Ian Davies is taking nothing for granted and expects them to pose a stiff challenge for his troops, who are still struggling to find an 80-minute performance this season.
"If they are the Quins of old then I would expect them to play a fast and expansive game," he said. "It will be interesting to see their approach and whether they give people a chance to play or stick with a squad mentality."
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He added: "They are also a Scarlets feeder team and with every senior player in Wales being dual-registered as a matter of course with their club and a regional side, they could have anything up to five or six established Scarlets players in their squad."
Following defeat at London Scottish after squandering a 24-10 lead in the league on Saturday, Davies is looking for a reaction from his Pirates squad.
The Pirates have reported no fresh injury concerns ahead of the weekend although prop Alan Paver, full-back Jack Nowell and centre Junior Fatialofa all picked up knocks.
Kiwi No8 Laurie McGlone will return to continue his recovery from a knee injury and Peter Joyce will be available after a planned one-game loan at Redruth. The Pirates also hope to have wing Ben Mercer finally cleared to play.
With Heineken Cup and A League commitments affecting both Exeter Chiefs and Bath the Pirates coaches have to wait to find out if their dual-registered contingent is free to play.
Carmarthen, who make up Pool 3 in the qualifying stage with Swansea and Dundee HSFP, may include former Pirates Darren Daniel and Rhodri Wells in their squad.
Pirates (from): Bedford, Riley, Fatialofa, Hallett, Andrew, Elloway, Prescott, Lyons, Johnson, Burgess, B Maidment, Storer, Semmens, Morgan, Barry, Kessell, Penberthy, Cheesman, Paver, Joyce, McGlone, Mercer, Davies, Ewers, Hill, Nowell, Buckle, M Maidment, Yeandle.