Rawlings back in contention to face Reds
CORNISH All Blacks hope to have influential back rower Mike Rawlings back in their squad for tomorrow's eagerly awaited National Two South clash with Redruth at the Recreation Ground (3pm).
The 24-year-old missed last Saturday's 33-29 home defeat by Chinnor with a hip flexor injury, but he could come into contention for the Duchy derby.
"He has been out with an injury for two weeks, but our physio, Kylie Evans, has been working very hard on him, and he should be available this weekend," said his older brother, and All Blacks captain and assistant coach, Tom Rawlings.
"He is chomping at the bit, after missing the opening game of the season."
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The fixture compilers always seem to provide a match-up between Cornwall's second and third best teams very early in the season, and this year is no different.
"The matches with Redruth are always the biggest games of our season," said Tom Rawlings.
"We need to produce a big game down there, we need to step up to the mark and improve on last Saturday's performance.
"If we can go down there and produce the attacking style of rugby we showed against Chinnor, we will score some points, but we need to brush up on our defence.
"We only narrowly lost at Redruth last season (15-13), and then beat them quite convincingly (20-10) at our place.
"I want us to set our stall out early doors on Saturday, and show Redruth, and the rest of the league, what we can do."
Redruth enjoyed a successful opening to their campaign last weekend with a 25-15 victory at Taunton, and will be buoyed by that away triumph.
"It was a good start for them, though I think Taunton were missing a few players, who were playing for the Exeter A League side on Sunday, which will have weakened them a little bit," said Rawlings.
"But that's a big result up at Taunton, especially in the opening fixture of the season.
"It shows that Redruth have got a good team, they are strong, they are going to have a very strong scrum, and we have got to match that, and matching them up front is going to be a big area for us.
"I don't want us to go away from the style of rugby that we play. We have got a very good attacking game.
"Lewis Paterson played very well on Saturday, Jake Murphy ran the game and played very well, Sam Chapman made his starting debut at inside centre against Chinnor and had a good game, and Luke Tidball will find his feet a little bit more this weekend, after being very nervous before the Chinnor game.
"But I think the battle is going to be massively up front, and we are relishing the opportunity to play against Redruth.
"We need to win the battles around the field – at scrum, line-out, ruck time and in the tackle area – we have got to make sure we win those small battles to win the game."
All Blacks report, Page 100.