Ealing Trailfinders v Cornish Pirates

Ealing Away

Saturday 2nd September 2017


Ealing Trailfinders v Cornish Pirates

Ealing Trailfinders v Cornish Pirates Saturday September 2nd
Vallis Way
Ealing London
(ko 3pm).


By Phil Westren

Excited Pirates Face a Tough Championship Opener

Pre-season complete, the real action begins on Saturday when Cornish Pirates play their opening Greene King IPA Championship game of the season away to Ealing Trailfinders (ko 3pm).

The Pirates won 22-16 on last season’s Christmas Eve visit to Vallis Way, however it was the Ealing side who ultimately, and impressively, made the play-offs.

A tough challenge on Saturday is inevitable for a Pirates side that names four players in the starting XV who will be making their first Championship appearances for the club. They are Kiwi centre Dan Koster, No. 8 Tom Lawday, flanker Rupert Cooper, and lock Toby Freeman.

Three others named on the bench are Cornish props Christian Judge and Billy Keast, and back Pete Laverick. In the absence of skipper Chris Morgan, who has had to withdraw because of injury, centre Nicolas De Battista will lead the team for the first time. Josh Caulfield is called off the bench to take Captain Morgan’s place, with Matt Bolwell drafted onto the bench.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s Championship opener, Cornish Pirates’ coach Gavin Cattle has said:

“The start of the season is always exciting and although it’s a tough start we are very much looking forward to it.

“Losing semi-finalists last year, Ealing have a big physical pack and through good coaches they have recruited well. We drew with them at home last season and won away, so there will be no fear, and as ever the team that fronts up physically will likely grab the spoils.”

The Cornish Pirates full selection is as follows:-

Cornish Pirates:   15, Toby May, 14 Alex O’Meara, 13 Dan Koster, 12 Nicolas De Battista (c), 11 Kyle Moyle, 10 Laurence May, 9 Alex Day; 1 Marlen Walker, 2 Tom Cowan-Dickie, 3 Jack Andrew, 4 Josh Caulfield, 5 Toby Freeman, 6 Rupert Cooper, 7 Alex Cheesman, 8 Tom Lawday.

Replacements:   16 Christian Judge, 17 Billy Keast, 18, Matt Bolwell, 19 Dan Lee, 20 Mike Pope, 21 Will Cargill, 22 Pete Laverick.

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