RFU Championship XV coach Mike Rayer has announced his squad to face the Maori All Blacks on Saturday , November 17 at Castle Park, Doncaster
Three Cornish Pirates players have been chosen in the squad, scrum-half Gavin Cattle, flanker Phil Burgess, and prop Alan Paver.
This is the first time that such a representative RFU Championship team has been put together, and for the squad of English qualified players this will be considered a great honour both for the players and the clubs they represent.
The match is also being shown 'live' on SKY Sports HD.
And at the Pirates Clubhouse
RFU Championship XV v Maori All Blacks
Saturday Novemebr 17th
Castle Park, Doncaster
Kick Off 12:05
Bedford Blues Head Coach and former Welsh international Rayer, alongside assistant coaches Ian Davies (Cornish Pirates) and Diccon Edwards (Leeds), have selected a minimum of one player from each of the twelve RFU Championship teams, with Nottingham, Bedford Blues and Cornish Pirates all topping the bill with three a-piece.
The twenty-three man squad is made up entirely of English Qualified Players (EQP) and reflects the wealth of young talent on offer in the RFU Championship.
Commenting on the opportunity the RFU Championship XV game offers the players and the league as a whole, Rayer said:
“I think it’s a great opportunity. Myself, Ian and Diccon have been in this division for a while now, as have a lot of the players.
It’s proven as a development pathway; there are a few guys in the England squad who have passed through the RFU Championship at some stage in some form.
I’m a big supporter of the RFU Championship and what it’s done for player development."
Three former England Under 20 players have been named in the squad, with Bedford’s Josh Bassett the most recent representative. The 20-year-old scored three tries for England in their successful Six Nations campaign and also travelled to South Africa to compete in the IRB Junior World Championship last June.
Leeds Carnegie pair Calum Green and Jacob Rowan also have Under 20 caps to their name with back row Rowan, 22, Carnegie’s youngest ever captain. He currently sits joint second in the RFU Championship try-scoring chart with six.
Also on six tries is Nottingham’s Rhys Crane who joins Green & White team mates Nic Rouse and Tim Streather in the RFU Championship XV.
Experience comes in the form of Cornish Pirates captain and RFU Championship stalwart Gavin Cattle who will travel up from Penzance with team mates Phil Burgess and Alan Paver.
RFU newcomers Jersey are represented in captain Nathan Hannay, who is one of three second rows selected in Rayer’s squad.
“There are some guys who have done really well in the RFU Championship and have been around this division for a number of years” commented Rayer.
“It’s important that you have that blend of more experienced guys guiding the young enthusiastic players around the pitch. That’s exactly what I’m expecting of guys like Gavin Cattle, Nic Rouse and Alan Paver, who are very experienced at this level.
“There are some really exciting looking backs in the squad as well. I’m really excited by the potential centre partnership, and what we have out wide. It’s a good mix.”
Dante Mama (Doncaster Knights), Jack Tovey (Bristol Rugby)
Josh Bassett (Bedford Blues), Rhys Crane (Nottingham Rugby)
Charlie Hayter (Moseley Rugby), Tim Streather (Nottingham Rugby)
Tristan Roberts (Bristol Rugby), Jake Sharp (Bedford Blues)
Gavin Cattle (Cornish Pirates), Luke Baldwin (Bedford Blues)
Mark Irish (London Scottish), Tom Davies (Doncaster Knights), Alan Paver (Cornish Pirates), Oliver Tomaszczyk (Newcastle Falcons)
Dan Baines (Rotherham Titans), Jon Vickers (Plymouth Albion)
Nathan Hannay (Jersey), Calum Green (Leeds Carnegie), Nic Rouse (Nottingham Rugby)
Phil Burgess (Cornish Pirates), Jacob Rowan (Leeds Carnegie), Richard Mayhew (Newcastle Falcons)
Ben Pienaar (Moseley Rugby)
Besides the match against the Championship XV, the Maori All Blacks also play the following matches
Tuesday 13th November
Kick Off 19:30
Friday 23rd November
Oxford University Rugby Club
Kick Off 19:30
Tickets: 01865 432000