Round 3 Preview all the latest team news and comment from around the clubs - PLUS LATEST RESULTS
Cornish Pirates v Swansea 14:00 Live on Pirates TV
Sunday 9 December
Leeds Carnegie v Pontypridd 15:00 BBC Radio Leeds
Friday 7 December 2012
P8 Nottingham 54-24 Melrose
Saturday 8 December 2012
P1 Bridgend 8-32 Bristol
P1 Ulster 40-24 Cardiff
P2 Neath 12-62 Bedford
P2 Stirling County 22-32 Bedwas
P3 Carmarthen Quins 20-17 Dundee High
P4 Cross Keys 17-12 Connacht
P4 Newport 10-36 Newcastle
P5 Jersey 12-16 Leinster 15:00
P6 Gala 18-11 Moseley 15:00
P7 Aberavon 20-21 Pymouth Albion
P7 Rotherham Titans 21-36 Munster
P8 Llandovery 13-16 Doncaster
Sunday 9 December 2012
P3 Cornish Pirates 27-9 Swansea
P6 London Scottish 24-15 Llanelli
P5 Leeds Carnegie 24-30 Pontypridd
The Green and Whites have named a powerful side to face the two-time defending Scottish Premiership champions, with props Matt Parr and Michael Holford leading a pack that includes Dan Montagu, Rupert Cooper and Alex Shaw.
Triple centurion David Jackson will again feature at full back with Nottingham top try scorer Rhys Crane making his first Cup appearance.
“We have four games to turn it around, and that is four wins we have to get,” said.TIim Streather, Captain for this match,
“It hasn’t been a great start for us in the Cup but we have the team to turn that around.
“It is weird to play the same side in back-to-back weeks like this, but the aim is the same - we have to win it.”
The biggest change for Nottingham this week is again the hierarchy, with forwards coach Neil Fowkes handed the reins by head coach Martin Haag.
Backs coach Ben Johnston was acting boss in the opening Cup game this season, with the competition used as part of the coaching team’s development.
That, however, has not taken away from the RFU Championship club’s intent on getting back on track in the cross-border competition after losses to Doncaster and Welsh side Llandovery.
Fowkes makes five changes to the starting side that got bogged down in the 11-10 defeat to the Cornish Pirates last week.
Hooker Shaun Malton, second row Joe Cain and centre Andy Forsyth make their first starts for Nottingham this season.
Teenage fly half Rory Lynn partners experienced No. 9 Sean Romans while Japan international James Arlidge is afforded the fortnight off.
Flanker Tom Calladine replaces captain Brent Wilson, who takes his place on a strong bench with Ryan Bower, Finlay Barnham, Scott Wright, Joe Quinn, Joe Cobden and Ryan Hough.
15 David Jackson 14 Alex Lewington 13 Tim Streather 12 Andy Forsyth
11 Rhys Crane 10 Rory Lynn 9 Sean Romans
1 Matt Parr 2 Shaun Malton 3 Michael Holford 4 Dan Montagu
5 Joe Cain 6 Rupert Cooper 7 Tom Calladine 8 Alex Shaw.
16 Scott Wright 17 Ryan Bower 18 Joe Quinn 19 Brent Wilson
20 Finlay Barnham 21 Joe Cobden 22 Ryan Hough
15 Fraser Thomson 14 Joe Helps 13 Ben Cairns 12 Bruce Dick
11 Sep Visser 10 Richard Mill 9 Bruce Colvine
1 Nicky Little 2 Richard Ferguson 3 Gary Holborn 4 Jonny Gray
5 Peter Eccles 6 John Dalziel 7 Grant Runciman 8 Andrew Nagle
16 Chris Keen 17 Lewis Niven 18 Ross Miller 19 Ross Ovens
20 Scott McCormick 21 Harry Leonard 22 Sam Chalmers
Bridgend go in to this match on the back of a narrow 16-19 defeat at the hands of the Blue and Blacks at The Arms Park where they were unlucky not to get more than a losing bonus point.
In the backs, Ben Thomas continues at full back, with the other changes being the return of Tom Habberfield at scrum half and Sam Campbell at centre, where he partners Nathan Edwards.
Elsewhere, it's as you were against Cardiff. In the front row, Chris Francis is replaced at hooker by Ashleigh James, who makes up a strong front row with Ken Dowding and Jonny Thomas. Shaun O'Rourke and Alex Jones continue in the boilerhouse, with captain Jonathan Vaughan, Scott Hicks and Andrew Waite in the back row.
15 Ben Thomas 14 Luke Morgan 13 Nathan Edwards 12 Sam Campbell 11 Ashley Evans 10 Jamie Murphy 9 Tom Habberfield
1 Ken Dowding 2 Ashleigh James 3 Jonny Thomas 4 Shaun O'Rourke
5 Alex Jones 6 Andrew Waite 7 Jonathan Vaughan 8 Scott Hicks
Replacements: Chris Francis (FR), Gary Carpenter (FR), Lee Davies, Arthur Ellis, Steve Winn, Rhys Ward Jones, Chris Williams
Liam Middleton names a strong line-up as the Club – who currently sit at the top of Pool 1 - look to continue their 100% record in the competition.
There are seven changes in total from the side that beat London Scottish – five of which are in the pack.
Tom Slater is set for his first competitive start of the season and in a relatively unchanged backline, Matt Williams makes his first start since the B&I Cup victory over Cardiff in October.
Scotland international Kyle Traynor returns to a new-look front row alongside Rhys Lawrence and Gaston Cortes, while Ben Glynn and Marco Mama are also included.
Middleton opts for a five forwards and two backs split on the bench, with George Biagi included among the replacements.
Jack Tovey; George Watkins, Luke Eves, Ben Mosses, Matt Williams;
Adrian Jarvis, Tom Slater; Kyle Traynor, Rhys Lawrence, Gaston Cortes
Ben Glynn, Glen Townson, Iain Grieve (c), Marco Mama, Alafoti Faosiliva.
Tom Channon, Mark Lilley, Wayne Thompson, George Biagi,
Mitch Eadie, James Grindal, Tristan Roberts.
Ravens’ manager Allen Clarke has named a strong team containing 14 players who have represented Ulster at senior level, with a further three on the bench.
The team is captained by Neil McComb, who has been in impressive form in his recent RaboDirect PRO12 outings.
The front five is made up entirely of Ballynahinch and Belfast Harlequins players as McComb is joined by James Simpson (second row), Conor Carey, Richard Lutton (both prop) and Niall Annett. Malone clubman Conor Joyce is in the back row along with Ali Birch and Mike McComish.
(15-9): Adam D’Arcy; Ricky Andrew, Michael Allen, Niall O’Connor, Chris Cochrane; Stuart Olding, Michael Heaney;
(1-8): Conor Carey, Niall Annett, Richard Lutton, James Simpson, Neil McComb (capt), Conor Joyce, Ali Birch, Mike McComish;
Replacements (16-22): Rob Herring, Adam Macklin, Alan O’Connor, Sean O’Connell, Blane McIlroy, Stuart McCloskey, Rory Scholes.
Management Team: Allen Clarke, Gary Longwell, Alan Rankin, Kieran Campbell, David Drake, David Minion.
15 Joe Griffin 14 Shaun Powell 13 Matt Smith 12 Darren Ryan
11 Tom Williams 10 James Thomas 9 Sion Hopkins
1 Campese Ma’afu 2 Ethan Lewis 3 Ryan Harford 4 James Murphy
5 Matthew Screech 6 Reuben Tucker 7 Thomas Young 8 Dan Crimmins
16 Callum Lewis 17 Aaron Fowler 18 Alwyn Lee 19 Ellis Jenkins
20 Alex Walke 21 Richard Smith 22 Steve Cullen
The Welsh All Blacks are in the throes of re-building and their plans are hampered by a crippling injury list that numbers no fewer than 14 out of a squad of 29 - and many of them are long-term !
Coach Patrick Horgan said, “Two wins in a fortnight represents solid progress in our re-building plans and our youngsters are looking forward to testing ourselves against one of the best sides in the English championship. Most of the sides there are fully-pro with big back up teams so it is a massive step up.
“In contrast, we have introduced several local players into our set-up and Neath supporters everywhere can be proud of the way this squad is pulling together. We are improving but there is a long way to go and it has been a question of all hands to the pumps this week.
15 Aaron Bramwell; 14 Kevin James, 13 Ryan Evans, 12 John Leyshon
11 A.N. Other 10 Kyle Davies 9 Chris Morgans;
1 Nicky Downs (captain), 2 Rhodri Clancy, 3 Marc Jones; 4 Rhys Jones
5 Jonny Griffiths, 6 Leon Ward, 8 Steffan Jones, 7 Matthew Rees
16 Owain Ford, 17 Alun Wyn Davies, 18 Tom Price, 19Nathan Ace
20 TBA, 21 Lloyd Phillips, 22 Gareth Davies
These two teams last met in the competition in the 2010/11 season – the year that Bedford reached the final – with the Blues pinching a 6-13 win thanks to a Sacha Harding try which was converted by James Pritchard who also added two penalties.
Unfortunately, Harding will not be involved this weekend, or for much of the remainder of the season, after he suffered a dislocation and break to his left ankle in a freak accident during the Championship fixture against Leeds on Sunday.
The game has also come too soon for prop Ricky Reeves (back) and winger Ollie Dodge (ankle) but Chris Locke and Tom Armes are both fit to take a place on the bench.
Looking ahead to the cup fixture, Blues coach Matt Volland said: “We’ve had an extremely tough few weeks in the Championship and things won’t get an easier when we face Neath this weekend. We had a very attritional game against them a couple of years ago and we are expecting much of the same on Saturday.
“Injuries are starting to take their toll a little at the moment and the knock to Sacha has been particularly disappointing but we are also seeing a number of lads returning to fitness and we have good depth in the squad.”
15. James Pritchard (c) 14. James Stephenson 13. Mark Atkinson 12. Ian Vass
11. Josh Bassett 10. Jake Sharp 9. Darryl Veenendaal
1. Darren Fearn 2. Scott Spurling 3. Dan Seal 4. Mike Howard
5. Ben Gulliver 6. Alex Rae 7. Darren Fox 8. Joe Vandermolen
16. Chris Locke, 17. Ben Cooper, 18. Gregor Gillanders, 19. Tom Armes
20. Ali Price, 21. Brendan Burke, 22. Mark Kohler
Stirling's B & I Cup match against Bedwas is on.
The pitch has been covered overnight and the covers will be lifted this morning to allow the air to reach ground during the day.
The covers will then be replaced to protect against overnight frost. With mild air forecast for Saturday, the pitch should be in great condition for the match
Glasgow have released Byron McGuigan and Mark Bennett and they take their place in the Stirling squad.
Steve Swindall returns and Colin Hutton replaces the injured Garry Mountford.
15 Ben Addison 14 Graham Lindsay 13 Byron McGuigan 12 Danny Gilmour
11 Ross Aitken 10 Stuart Edwards 9 Sean Kennedy
1 Mike McDonald 2 Alex Moffat (capt.) 3 Colin Hutton 4 Ruaridh Leishman
5 Craig Deacons 6 Adam Ashe 8 Steve Swindall 7 Tim Clarke
16 Jamie Bhatti 17 Reyner Kennedy 18 Steve Raby 19 Struan Robertson
20 Brian Archibald 21 Mark Bennett 22 Matt Lamb
The Bedwas back line sees a first Bedwas start for Dragons Academy full back Lewis Hudd, whilst Another Dragons Academy youngster starts at hooker as Elliot Dee replaces the unavailable Rhys Hutcherson.
Lewis Hudd, Rory Budina, Ross Wardle, Matthew Pewtner, Matthew John,
Ethan Davies; Tom Rowlands, Ian George, Elliot Dee, Matthew Pettit
Phil Rees, Kyle Maiden, Simon Grainger (Capt.), Aaron Harris, Deri Mattravers.
Kristian Gay, Dan Preece, Ben Roberts, Sam Feehan
Liam Davies, James Thomas, Scott Williams
Carmarthen Quins head coach Steve Williams believes his side have grown into the British & Irish Cup, gaining confidence with each round.
"The competition was very much a step into the unknown at the start of the season, but our first game, away to Cornish Pirates opened our eyes to what it has to offer," he said.
"It was new in every way - the travelling, the standard of the English Championship and although the boys were slightly overawed in the opening minutes, they certainly grew during the game and took a lot from the whole experience.
"We've certainly got a taste for this competition now - it's great for a small club like Carmarthen to be involved in something like this so we want to do as well as we can."
Full Story: www.wru.co.uk
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Dundee have a number of EDP and Pro players available from both Edinburgh and Glasgow for this match.
These include Glasgow’s Finlay Gilles (2), Ruaridh Jackson (10) and Taylor Paris(11) who is just back from a successful stint with Canada in the Autumn Internationals where he scored two tries.
15. Brandyn Laursen 14. Andrew Mclean 13. Harry Duthie (C) 12. Jack Steele
11. Taylor Paris 10. Ruaridh Jackson 9. Robbie Lavery
1. Steve Longwell 2. Finlay Gilles 3. Alan Brown 4. Chris Cumming
5. Richie Hawkins 6. Andy Redmayne 7. Iain Wilson 8. Richie Mciver
16. Darrel Russell 17. Gav Robertson 18. Neil Dymock 19. Andy Linton
20. Danny Levison 21. Callum Bowie 22. Andy Dymock
Keys, last season's beaten finalists welcome back Luke Ford in the centre following a few weeks out with a shoulder injury whilst exciting young prospect Scott Matthews is given a rare start at open side, with skipper Rob Nash rested, although Nash is on the bench.
Dorian Jones again starts on the wing for Keys as Kristian Baller is being troubled by a hamstring problem.
Also set to return after a spell on the sidelines through injury is prop James Johnstone who is named on the bench.
15. Gareth David 14. Dorian Jones 13. Leon Andrews 12. Luke Ford
11. Luke Williams 10. Steffan Jones 9. Ryan James (c)
1. Richard Cornock 2. Gerwyn Price 3. Anthony Lott 4. Danny Hodge
5. Ollie Hodge 6. Tom Lampard 7. Scott Matthews 8. Adam Powell
James Johnstone, Garry Horrigan, Craig Gould, Sean Higgins
Rob Nash, Rhys Dyer, Dean Gunter.
Speaking ahead of this match, Nigel Carolan, Eagles Head Coach, said: “Cross Keys are an effective team and are used to a physical brand of rugby. On the back of their 43-0 win over Swansea in the Welsh Principality Cup last week their confidence will be riding high.”
“However, after our strong performance against Newcastle Falcons in the previous round of the Cup I believe that if we can replicate those high standards we can put ourselves in a good position to come away with a win.”
“ We’re travelling with an energetic team who are keen to play an open brand of rugby and demonstrate their capabilities to the 1st team coaches, and put their hand up for selection for next week’s Heineken Cup trip to Biarritz.”
15 James Loxton 14 Mark McCrea 13 Tadhg Leader 12 Brian Murphy
11 Matt Healy 10 Jack Carty 09 Dave Moore
01 Rob Sweeney 02 Kevin O’Byrne 03 Peter Reilly 04 Jonathan Gardiner
05 Dave Gannon 06 Dave Heffernan 07 Eoghan Grace (C) 08 Aaron Conneely
16 Kurt Haupt 17 Paul Griffin 18 Conor Kindregan 19 TJ Anderson
20 Marcus Walsh 21 Finn Gormley 22 Steve Toal-Lennon
This will be the toughest test that the Black & Ambers have faced all season as they come up against the unbeaten Falcons who currently sit top of the RFU Championship.
However a few seasons ago, unbeaten Exeter Chiefs came unstuck at Rodney Parade and Newport will be hoping to repeat the feat.
Injuries and the fact that outstanding 17yr old prop Alex Jeffries is not allowed to play in the front due B& I cup age rules means a number of changes for the home side, who still field 4 youngsters - 17yr old Ollie Griffiths and 18yr olds Lance Randall, Dominic Franchi and Ashton Hewitt.
Newport also welcome back popular centre Adam Davies who has been out injured since the beginning of September and tight-head prop Dan Mathews recently signed from Pontypool makes his debut.
J Leadbeater, E Frewen, G O'Driscoll, A Davies, A Hewitt
S Sneddon, R Downes, D Pattison , R Prosser, D Mathews
D Rosser, A Frampton, B Lampitt, C Attwell (capt), C Everett
A Brown, J Jeune, L Randall, O Griffiths, D Franchi, T Hancock, A Quick.
Referee: Eddie Hogan-O’Connell, IRFU
Jamie Helleur captains Newcastle Falcons for the trip to Newport, as Dean Richards makes seven changes from the side that defeated Plymouth Albion last week.
Tonga international Suka Hufanga partners Helleur at outside centre, while Joel Hodgson and Rory Lawson form an exciting half-back combination.
In the front-row Scott Wilson gets the nod a week after making his league debut, with James Goode, Richard Mayhew and Taiasina Tu’ifua also coming into the pack.
James Hudson gets a place on the bench after recovering from a hand injury, while James Fitzpatrick is also amongst the replacements.
“We are expecting a tough battle against Newport,” said Falcons boss Richards, who has led his charges to 13 wins out of 13 this campaign.
“Every Welsh side are well organised and hard to beat, but we have a good squad here at Kingston Park and I am looking forward to the test.
“It will be a difficult game for us and they will take us on upfront. The Welsh always have half-backs that will test you, so it will certainly be a hard game down there,” added Richards.
Kingston Park has been covered in a blanket of snow for much of this week forcing the Falcons to train at the all-weather facility of Druid Park.
“There’s been a few snowball fights,” joked Richards.
“But the lads have to get out there and train, and it has been nice to have the luxury of Druid Park – we have got a lot of work done that we wanted to get done,” he added.
Richard Mayhew comes into the back-row to strengthen the Falcons front-line, and is looking forward to the trip to Wales.
He said: “They have some big players by all accounts and we are expecting nothing but a difficult Welsh encounter.
“There is so much depth in the squad at the moment, and every time you go out onto the pitch you want to solidify your spot for the next game.
“Every guy who plays this weekend knows he has a guy hot on his heels, and it’s up to those who get the opportunity to take their chance.”
15 Jimmy Gopperth, 14 Luke Fielden, 13 Suka Hufanga, 12 Jamie Helleur (c)
11 Andy Higgins, 10 Joel Hodgson, 9 Rory Lawson
1 Grant Shiells, 2 Michael Mayhew, 3 Scott Wilson, 4 Sean Tomes
5 James Goode, 6 Chris York, 7 Richard Mayhew, 8 Taiasina Tu’ifua
16 Matt Thompson, 17 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 18 James Hudson, 19 Mark Wilson
20 Warren Fury, 21 Waisea Luveniyali, 22 James Fitzpatrick
Jersey make history with this first ever competitive match against Irish opponents.
Director of Rugby Ben Harvey makes a series of changes in the wake of a highly-disappointing Championship defeat at Doncaster last weekend, starting in the front row where Dave Felton and Sean McCarthy are called up. Teenager James Voss and former Loughborough Student Fred Silcock earn selection in the back row.
Another teenager, new loan signing Max Stelling, will start at centre, while Ashley Maggs returns after suspension and slots in at right wing. Barry Davies plays full-back, while Dave McCormack returns to the scrum-half position.
Jersey’s bench features back-row man Graham Bell who is set for his first rugby since sustaining a knee injury in Jersey’s fixture at Sedgley Park in February.
‘The British & Irish Cup games in October were the catalyst for some much-improved form, and results, and the aim is for a similar situation this time around,’ states Harvey.
The match will be Jersey’s first since the departure of Welsh international Ben Evans, who left his role as Player-Coach by mutual consent this week after 18 months with the Island side.
1 Sean McCarthy 2 Dave Felton 3 Jon Brennan 4 Nathan Hannay (capt)
5 Dave Markham 6 James Voss 7 Fred Silcock 8 Guy Thompson
9 Dave McCormack 10 Mike Le Bourgeois 11 Ed Dawson
12 Dai Bishop 13 Max Stelling 14 Ashley Maggs 15 Barry Davies
16 Richard Barrington 17 James Gethings 18 Rob Anderson 19 Eoghan Nihill
20 Kingsley Lang 21 Brendan O’Brien 22 Chris Levesley
Dominic Ryan has been selected in the back-row for Leinster after missing the last three months through injury and isjoined by Leo Auva’a and Rhys Ruddock, who leads the team.
Tom Denton, Aaron Dundon and Jamie Hagan – who have all featured for the Senior team in recent weeks – are also included, while in the backline John Cooney is paired with Noel Reid at half back.
Jordan Coghlan partners Brendan Macken at centre while Cathal Marsh is named at full-back.
15: Cathal Marsh 14: Andrew Boyle 13: Brendan Macken 12: Jordan Coghlan
11: Adam Byrne 10: Noel Reid 9: John Cooney
1: Jack O’Connell 2: Aaron Dundon 3: Jamie Hagan 4: Ben Marshall
5: Tom Denton 6: Rhys Ruddock (Capt) 7: Dominic Ryan 8: Leo Auva’a
16: Thomas Sexton 17: Martin Moore 18: Tadhg Beirne 19: Conor Gilsenan
20: Luke McGrath 21: Tom Daly 22: Steve Crosbie
L Pettie, C Mackintosh, E McQuillin, C Weir, O Palepoi
C Keddie, G Graham, E Dods, Geo Graham, L Millar
G Young, A Emond, C Auld, G Somerville, B Turner
M Christie, R Anderson, S Cairns, A McLean, D Owenson, C Borthwick, C Robertson
The Moseley Coaches have picked a side which shows several changes from those which have played in recent games, using this tough away match as an opportunity to rotate the squad, resting some players and giving the opportunity to others to show what they can do.
1.Lewis Woodfield; 2. Adam Caves; 3. Steffan Thorpe; 4.Addison Lockley;
5. Liam Mather; 6.Nigel Burrows; 7. Ben Pons; 8. Neil Mason
9. Oliver Thomas; 10.Brad Davies; 11.Brad Hunt
12 Charlie Hayter.; 13 Caolan Ryan; 14. Simon Hunt; 15. Billy Robinson
16. Sam Wilkes; 17. David Hilton; 18. Ben Pienaar; 19. Oliver Robinson
20. Buster Lawrence; 21anthony Carter; 22. Glynn Hughes
Howard Thomas; Richard Carter, Ben John, Matthew Jenkins, Chris Lewis
Jamie Davies, Nathan Jones; Rowan Jenkins, Ieuan Davies, Chris John
Gavin Ronan, Sam Williams (capt), Ben Thomas, Nathan Strong, Nathan Brown.
Stefan Andrews, Jonathan Phillips, Evan Yardley, Ian Moore
Andrew Clatworthy, Neil White, Joe Tomalin-Reeves.
Albion will be aiming to kick-start their British & Irish Cup campaign on Saturday at Aberavon
Albion have had to make do with just bonus points from their opening two cup games against Munster and Rotherham, but they know a victory in South Wales this weekend will put them right back in the mix in Pool 7.
However, Aberavon will want the win as much as Albion, having also lost to Rotherham and Munster in their opening two games.
Plymouth head coach Nat Saumi, who wants his team to build on their encouraging display at Newcastle last week, knows it is never easy to win in Wales.
“All away games are tough,” he said. “And like all Welsh sides we know they are going to play with a lot of pride.”
Albion hand a first start of the season to hooker Jamie Salter. However, they will not be short of experience in Wales, with all but four of their team having earned Championship starts this year.
Plymouth will be captained for the first time by fly-half Paul Roberts.
15 Rhodri McAtee 14 Jack Arnott 13 Toby Howley-Berridge 12 Bevon Armitage
11 Sam Jones 10 Paul Roberts (c) 9 Paul Rowley
1 Ben Rogers 2 Jamie Salter 3 David Morton 4 Will Carrick-Smith
5 Ien Ascroft-Leigh 6 Wayne Sprangle 7 Sam Matavesi 8 Harrison Tovey
16 Ruairi Cushion, 17 Lewis Warner, 18 Tom Bowen, 19 Luke Cowan-Dickie
20 Jon Vickers, 21 Rupeni Nasiga, 22 Aaron Carpenter.
The Titans are aiming to round-off their year at Clifton Lane with a victory over their Irish counterparts and strengthen their grip at the top of Pool 7.
Titans make seven changes to the starting line-up that beat Moseley 16-20 last time out. Along the back line Joel Gill returns to the side at outside centre, Ed Styles comes in on the wing, whilst Jimmy Williams returns from injury and will start in the number 9 jersey.
In the pack, Shane Cahill and Gareth Denman get the nod at loose head and tight head prop respectively, Nile Dacres makes his first start in the second row and Joe Ellyatt is preferred this week at open side flanker.
Titans have never met Munster before in a competitive match and are expecting the current holders of the British & Irish Cup to pose a real challenge, as they attempt to retain the trophy.
Titans Head Coach Alex Codling looking ahead to the clash said, “We will be focused on getting the right result, but we are also aware that Munster will present us with a massive challenge, although it will be an exciting one nonetheless. Munster is a great club, steeped in honour and tradition and they have competed at the highest level of club rugby for many years.
“Munster has always been a very powerful side and when you look at the Irish sides there’s always been a big emphasis on the tackle area, they are very aggressive and they are very good at staying on their feet in the contact area which helps them turn lots of ball over. Nevertheless, if we perform as well as we can here at Clifton Lane, we know we are capable of getting the right result.”
15 Fergus Mulchrone (Capt.), 14 Peter Homan, 13 Joel Gill, 12 Pale Nonu
11 Ed Styles, 10 James McKinney, 9 Jimmy Williams
1 Shane Cahill, 2 Ted Stagg, 3 Gareth Denman, 4 Toby Freeman
5 Nile Dacres, 6 Latu Makaafi, 7 Joe Ellyatt, 8 Rory Pitman.
16 Marshall Gadd, 17 Ross Davies, 18 Dan Sanderson, 19 Alex Rieder
20 George Oliver, 21 Garry Law, 22 Charlie Mulchrone.
The Munster side is bristling with experience in the form of Denis Hurley, Johne Murphy, Luke O'Dea, Danny Barnes, Scott Deasy, Christy Condon, Dave Foley and Ian Nagle, but there are also several such as Ryan Murphy, Jack O'Donoghue, James Cronin and Brian Slater who are completely new to this level of rugby.
Speaking ahead of the match, Munster Coach Ian Costello said. "They're a good championship side. We played Plymouth and found it very very tough to break them down over there. So to travel to Rotherham, it's going to be similar."
"On paper they (Rotherham) are stronger (than Plymouth). They put 50 points on them and we struggled to beat them. It was a very tough close game. So from our point of view it's going to be a very big challenge.""
Denis Hurley; Luke O'Dea, Danny Barnes, Ivan Dineen, Johne Murphy
JJ Hanrahan, Cathal Sheridan; James Cronin, Sean Henry, John Ryan
Dave Foley, Ian Nagle; Brian Hayes, Ryan Murphy, Shane Buckley.
Duncan Casey, Christy Condon, Philip Donnellan, Jack O'Donoghue
Brian Slater, Scott Deasy, Ronan O'Mahony.
15. Matthew Jacobs 14. Jake Randall 13. Adam Warren 12. Dylan Morgans
11. Lee Rees 10. Cerith Rees 9. Rhodri Williams
1. Dorian Williams 2. Luke Lewis 3. Dean Howells 4. Llewelyn Jones
5. Bryn Griffiths 6. Phil Day 7. Lloyd Phillips (Captain) 8. Richard Brooks
16. Andrew Jones 17. Wyn Jones 18. Matthew Harbut 19. Luke Kendall
20. Tom Ball 21. James Garland 22. Jack Roberts
Clive Griffiths has named a very strong side for this Saturday’s British and Irish Cup clash with high-flying Welsh Premiership outfit Llandovery.
Last weekend’s win over Jersey in the Championship has lifted confidence and team spirit as the Knights travel to West Wales desperate to register their second successive victory and boost their chances of qualifying for the knock out stages of the Cup.
New signing Connor Braid again starts at full-back following his Man-of-the-Match debut performance with Louis Silver returning to scrum-half.
Two notable returning players are Leicester Tigers pair Andy Symons and Keiran Brookes who enter the starting fray immediately and will bolster the centre and front-row positions respectively. Both Tigers stars will make their second appearance for the Knights as links with the Premiership giants are strengthened.
England Saxon, Brookes will slot into tight-head with Brain McGovern returning to loose-head and Rhys Buckley keeping his position at hooker on his return to Wales. Fellow former Newport Gwent Dragon Royce Cadman returns to the starting line-up after a spell out injured and is partnered by captain Matt Challinor.
The back row has seen a complete overhaul of personnel as Andy Boyde, David Bradford and Sam Pailor get the chance to impress in their first start under Clive Griffiths.
15) Connor Braid 14) Dougie Flockhart 13) James Tincknell 12) Andy Symons
11) Tyson Lewis 10) Jamie Lennard 9) Louis Silver
1) Brian McGovern 2) Rhys Buckley 3) Kieran Brookes 4) Matt Challinor ©
5) Royce Cadman 6) Andy Boyde 7) David Bradford 8) Sam Pailor
16) Ben Sowery 17) Jack Bergmanas 18) Phil Hoy 19) Jethro Rawling
20) Tomas Francis 21) Dante Mama 22) Chris Hallam
Kyle Marriott has returned to full fitness and will lead a Pirates side that shows several changes from the one that ran out last Sunday against Nottingham.
Tom Kessell is named at scrum-half, Sam Hill and Tom Bedford form the centre pairing, whilst JJ Kilmartin, who was a replacement against the 'Green & Whites', starts on the wing.
In the forwards Ryan Storer and Peter Joyce are the prop pairing, Darren Barry is named at lock, and Joe Buckle gets his third start for the club on the open-side flank.
Listed among the replacements is Redruth's hooker/flanker Owen Hambly, who in the past week signed a contract with the Cornish Pirates.
W. Davies, JJ Kilmartin, T. Bedford, S. Hill, B. Mercer
K. Hallett, T. Kessell, K. Marriott (capt), J. Buckle, J. Tyas
D. Barry, D. Lyons, P. Joyce, R. Elloway, R. Storer.
P. Andrew D. Semmens, A. Paver, L. McGlone, O. Hambly, G. Cattle, A. Cheesman.
Referee: Greg Macdonald (RFU)
Assistants: Nick Williams & Peter Huckle
Speaking ahead of this game, Swansea team manager Ian Hopkins said: "This is going to be a very different challenge to our normal league environment which will challenge our players in every way, but it's tough challenges that make players grow so they will be able to show what they are made of on Sunday.
"Having lost to Carmarthen Quins, it's going to be a tough ask to progress from this pool but the next two weekends will decide our fate."
15 Rhys Williams 14 Nicky Harwood 13 Aled Jenkins 12 Ben Roberts
11 TBC 10 Sam Davies9 Jake Cole
1 Nicky Smith2 Paul John 3 Ian Williams 4 Sam Kiley (C)
5 Rhodri Hughes 6 Rob Dudley-Jones 7 James Bija 8 Dan Baker
16 Ieuan Dobbs 17 Aled Mason 18 Ben Fox 19 James McKenna
20 Aled Lewis 21 TBC 22 TBC
Some players have not been confirmed due to injuries.
Leeds Carnegie Head Coach Diccon Edwards has made ten changes to the side that lost heavily to Bedford Blues last weekend for this Sunday’s clash with Pontypridd at West Park Leeds.
Edwards has selected a side of youth and experience as he rotates his squad. Hooker Joe Graham returns to the front row after coming off the bench last week, likewise props Ben Harris and Ben Hooper. It will be Harris’ third start for the club, all of which have come in the British and Irish Cup.
England U20 international Dominic Barrow will start in the second row alongside Matt Smith after coming back from a loan spell at Wharfedale last week. Rob Baldwin and Chris Walker come into the back row in place of Jacob Rowan and Richard Beck.
In the backs, Craig Hampson comes in for James Doherty at scrum half with Jamel Chisholm, Christian Georgiou and Curtis Wilson creating a new look backline. Oli Goss moves from the wing to centre to replace Fred Burdon whilst Josh Griffin and Joe Ford retain their places.
On the bench there are possible debuts for young second row Pierce Philips and centre Matt Clark.
15. Christian Georgiou 14. Curtis Wilson 13. Oli Goss 12. Josh Griffin
11. Jamel Chisholm 10. Joe Ford 9. Craig Hampson
1. Ben Harris 2. Joe Graham 3. Ben Hooper 4. Dominic Barrow
5. Matt Smith 6. Rob Baldwin 7. Chris Walker 8. Ryan Burrows
16. Phil Nilsen 17. Lee Imiolek 18. Damien Tussac 19. Calum Green
20. Pierce Phillips 21. James Doherty 22. Matt Clark
According to Ponty team manager Richard Langmead, recent form in the tournament will count for nothing come Sunday afternoon.
“As is always the case when we come up against fully professional English opposition, the going will be tough” said Langmead.
“Leeds are going well in the Championship and will be going all out to secure their first win in the BIC. We know how difficult a challenge we face, but the squad are up for it having trained well during the week and buoyed by the recent win at Llandovery."
15.Geraint Walsh. 14.Owen Williams. 13.Dafydd Lockyer. 12.Gary Williams
11.Matthew Nuthall. 10.Dai Flanagan. 9.Carl Thomas.
1.Chris Phillips. 2.Darran Harris. 3.Keiron Jenkins. 4.Cory Hill
5.Chris Dicomidis – cpt. 6.Jake Thomas. 7.Wayne O’Connor. 8.Dan Godfrey.
16.Lloyd Williams. 17.Lewis K Williams. 18.Gavin Dacey. 19.Huw Dowde
20.Ed Siggery. 21.Dafydd Davies. 22.Bradley Thyer.
London Scottish make two changes to their starting XV for the visit of Llanelli to the Richmond Athletic Ground.
Dual-registered Harlequins winger Miles Mantella comes into the side on the left wing and lock Tyler Hotson makes his return to first team action after a spell with the Canadian national side.
Mantella’s last appearance in the B&I Cup was against Moseley in October when he scored a sensational length of the pitch try in the closing moments of the match. Hotson returns to the starting XV for the first time since the RFU Championship game with Leeds on November 3rd.
Director of Rugby Simon Amor said: “The B&I Cup is very much an opportunity for us, particularly where we are right now with our new coaching structure and training schedule.
It gives us a great opportunity for this team to continue our progression and it’s a good chance for us to give some players more first team exposure.”
15. Jim Thompson 14. James Love 13. Oli Grove 12. Andy Reay
11. Miles Mantella 10. Phil Godman 9. Ross Samson
1. Mark Irish 2. Adam Kwasnicki 3. Colin Quigley 4. Paul Spivey
5. Tyler Hotson 6. Ben Russell 7. Chevvy Pennycook 8. Mark Bright (c)
16. Harry Allen 17. Alex Mackenzie 18. Josh Thomas Brown 19. Tommy Spinks
20. Richard Bolt 21. PJ Gidlow 22. Dave McCall
come into the game on the back of some good performances in the Premiership but will need to up their game to secure the win.
Their website says “we’ve shown before how we can take on Championship sides in their own backyard and come away with positive results – The boy’s will know what they have to do”
15 Dion Jones 14 Dale Ford 13 Steffan Hughes 12 Johnny Lewis
11 Alec Jenkins 10 Owen Williams 9 Ryan Jones
1 Rhodri Jones 2 Kirby Myhill 3 Aled Hopkins 4 Nathan White
5 Joel Galley 6 Lewis Rawlins 7 Dan Thomas 8 Craig Price
16 Rhys Thomas 17 Craig Hawkins 18 Craig Cross 19 Duane Eager 20 Rhys Lane 21 Diggy Bird 22 Kyle Evans