RFU Championship News

Friday 21st

21st October  2011


RFU Championship News Friday 21st October 2011

RFU Championship News. Previews of all the Round 8 games. All the teams plus news and comment

Friday 21 October 2011 Saturday 22 October 2011
Bristol v London Welsh 19:45

Sunday 23 October 2011
Cornish Pirates v Esher 15:00
Leeds v Plymouth Albion 15:00
Doncaster v Nottingham 14:30
London Scottish v Bedford 15:00
Moseley v Rotherham Titans 15:00

Friday 21 October 2011

Bristol v London Welsh 19:45

It’s first against second as London Welsh take on Championship leaders Bristol at the Memorial Stadium in front of the live Sky Sports cameras.

Broistol's Iain Grieve returns to the starting line-up tonight, the captain has fully recovered from an ear infection that kept him out of action since the victory over Bedford Blues and replaces Marco Mama at no.8.

Head Coach Liam Middleton makes a total of five changes from the side that beat Esher with Tom Slater, Junior Fatialofa, Matt Williams and Jason Hobson also earning recalls.

Roy Winters makes his 130th league appearance for Bristol Rugby, the third highest in Club history, behind Paul Hull (154) and Darren Crompton (201).

On the replacements bench, Mark Davies recovers from a back injury to be included in the 22-man squad for the first time since September.


The Exiles’ defeat at home to Rotherham last weekend saw Bristol leapfrog Welsh at the top of the table following their away win at Esher. All of which steps up an intriguing clash on Friday.

London Welsh head coach Lyn Jones makes six changes for trip to the Memorial Stadium, which includes a new centre pairing in Simon Whatling and Hudson Tonga’uia, who take the place of Paul Mackey and Seb Jewell.

Rob Lewis comes in for Ben Stevenson at scrum half, while there’s one change in the front row with on loan Wasps prop Guillermo Roan taking over from Shawn Pittman, who drops to the bench.

There are two other changes in the forwards with Martin Purdy replacing Matt Corker in the second row, and Mike Denbee taking over the number seven jersey from Michael Hills.

Like Pittman, Corker and Jewell also move to the bench where Jones has gone for a five-two split between forwards and backs.

The last time Welsh visited the Memorial Ground they came away with a 36-14 win in the 2010/11 play-offs - one of three wins the Exiles enjoyed over Bristol last season.


Bristol Rugby
Sean Marsden; George Watkins, Jack Tovey, Junior Fatialofa, Matt Williams
Matty James, Tom Slater; Darren Crompton, Rhys Lawrence, Jason Hobson
Mariano Sambucetti, Roy Winters, Josh Ovens, James Merriman, Iain Grieve (c).

Ross Johnston, Mark Irish, Darren Barry, Dan Montagu
Louis Silver, Mark Davies, Ben Mosses

London Welsh:
15. Edd Thrower, 14. Will Hurrell, 13. Hudson Tonga’uiha, 12. Simon Whatling, 11. Liam Gibson
10. Gordon Ross, 9. Rob Lewis
1. Guillermo Roan, 2. Dan George, 3. Greg Bateman, 4. Adam Brown, 5. Martin Purdy
6. Jon Mills ©, 7. Mike Denbee, 8. Ed Jackson.

16. Saul Nelson, 17. Billy Moss, 18. Shawn Pittman, 19. Matt Corker, 20
Lee Beach, 21. Jack Moates, 22. Seb Jewell.

Saturday 22 October 2011

Doncaster v Nottingham 14:30

Brett Davey has made five changes to his starting line-up to face Nottingham this weekend as the Knights aim to make it six games unbeaten at Castle Park.

The Director of Rugby has picked a new-look front row as Doncaster target revenge for their narrow B&I Cup defeat to their Midlands rivals, whilst maintaining squad freshness in round 8 of the Championship.

After four back-to-back league victories, the Knights were held to a draw away to Bedford Blues last week, and as they have not lost at home since September 3, they are hoping to ensure their ground remains a fortress.

Nottingham currently lie seventh in the table, but third-placed Knights will not be taking anything for granted in what promises to be an exciting clash with an array of talent on display, as Nottingham showed their mettle when they battled to their own 25-25 tie with high-flying Cornish Pirates.

The visitors are sure to be strong with the boot, with Japan international fly-half James Arlidge freshly returned from World Cup duty and Championship third highest points scorer Kieran Hallett competing for the kicking rights. The signing of Argentine Juan Pablo Socino, who averaged 10 points per match for Rotherham Titans last season, will bring further creative options to the Green and Whites.

One man the Knights defence will be placing a close eye on is Sione Kalamafoni, who was awarded the Man of the Match award for Tonga in their beating of World Cup finalists France. The back-rower’s powerful play attracted the attention of Premiership clubs before he committed to Nottingham for the current campaign.

But the Knights defence will be in strong spirits after the last two performances since the return of defence coach Neil Kelly from the World Cup with Namibia.

Wakefield born Kelly said: “We are getting a bit of consistency in our performances now, but we can’t afford to neglect things – defence is all about concentration and our players will learn from their mistakes as we improve.
“Nottingham are a good side, they’ve got some dangerous runners and ball-carriers with Kieran Hallett very strong kicking game.  

“There is no doubt they are a better team than their league position suggests - it’s easy to look at the table and decide it should be an easy win for us, but that’s a dangerous thing to do, we can’t get complacent, especially against such a good side.”


Brett Davey is expecting a tough battle in tomorrow’s clash, “They are a big powerful side who have a lot of experience and some heavy ball carriers. We will certainly have to front up in defence again like we did in last week’s 18-18 draw at Bedford. said Davey.

“It is going to be really interesting for me personally to see whether we can do it defensively two weeks in a row.

Full Story www.thestar.co.uk

Nottingham are out to seek another win when they travel to Castle Park for a showdown against Doncaster Knights.

With Doncaster currently sitting fourth in the League table, Nottingham know that their opponents won’t go down easily and have been working hard in training.

Director of Rugby, Glenn Delaney, said: “We’re expecting a very physical challenge on Saturday up at Doncaster. They are one of the form teams this season and we know that playing them on their home patch will only add to the challenge.”

The Green and Whites are coming into the tie after a tough draw last week at Meadow Lane against last season’s runners-up, Cornish Pirates. Having worked up a 12-point lead going into the final quarter Nottingham will be keen this week to prove that they can maintain their level of performance and be strong finishers.

Delaney added: “We’ve trained well but we understand the demands that are in front of us. We are working hard to turn those narrow margins into winning margins.”

The team sees a few changes from the side that played Cornish Pirates last week. One change that has been forced sees leading try scorer David Jackson drop out of the team following a shoulder injury. Alex Lewington comes in to take his place.

Matt Parr comes in to the front row with Michael Holford dropping to the bench while Richard De Carpentier comes into the back row in place of Phil Eggleshaw.


Doncaster Knights:
David McIlwaine, Dougie Flockhart, Tom Luke, PJ Gidlow, Michael Keating
Mike Whitehead, Chris Hallam, Andy Brown, Jack Yeandle, Royce Burke-Flynn,
Matt Challinor, Dominic Parsons, Andy Boyde, Zack Farivarz, Chris Planchant.  

Stuart Corsar, Steve Boden, Alex Brown, Latu Makaafi
Michael Noone, Lee Audis, Oli Goss.

Nottingham Rugby
Matt Parr, Joe Duffey, Ben Prescott, Craig Hammond (c), Nic Rouse
Sione Kalamafoni, Richard De Carpentier, Alex Shaw
Nathan Jones, James Arlidge , Jack Cobden , Juan Socino, Ayoola Erinle
Alex Lewington, Kieran Hallett

Jimmy Stevens, Michael Holford, Matt Shields, Lee Morley
Phil Eggleshaw, Finlay Barnham, Charlie Hayter

London Scottish v Bedford 15:00

New Argentine international signings, Alfredo Lalanne and Agustin Goisio, have been pitched straight into the London Scottish starting line-up for Saturday’s game against Bedford Blues.

Lalanne and Gosio, who were both members of Argentina’s impressive World Cup 2011 squad only joined up with the squad this week. However, injuries to other personnel, plus the desire by Head Coach Simon Amor to add their ability and international class to Scottish’s side has led to their immediate inclusion

Amor said "It’s great that we have been joined by Agustin and Alfredo. Both will be bolstering critical positions for us in our squad and will add to our attacking threat.

They are World Cup internationals, and neither played a huge amount during the tournament so they will be desperate to play some rugby.

Alfredo previously played for London Irish so he has top level experience in English rugby and I have no doubt he will be a tremendous scrum half for us, and someone that Matt Heeks and Jamie Stevenson in particular will be able to learn a lot from. Agustin is a true attacking threat out wide and a natural try scorer."

There are also notable returns for Club Captain Lewis Calder to the starting line-up, and James Brown to the bench following injury.

However, Mark Bright and David Howells both miss out following knocks picked up during the last minute defeat to Plymouth Albion last time out

Elsewhere, Tom Standfield earns the starting number 2 shirt, while Adam Kwasnicki drops to the bench, and there is a first start of the season for former Wasps Academy centre Olli Holmes.


Bedford Blues head off toward unchartered territory as they make a first Championship visit to London Scottish.

Following last weekend’s 18 all draw with Doncaster Knights, Blues Director of Rugby Mike Rayer takes the opportunity to rotate players by making seven changes to the starting line-up to face London Scottish with David Vincent, Ollie Dodge, Jake Sharp, Darryl Veenendaal, Sam Walsh, Mike Howard and Don Barrell all featuring from kick off.

Centre Ian Vass is recovering well from a knee injury which ruled him out of the end of last season and has joined Old Albanians on loan to gain some much needed match fitness. Winger Mark Kohler has also gone out on loan joining National Division One side Cambridge on a short term deal.

Looking ahead to Saturday’s game Rayer said: “I think that all of the lads were a little disappointed to draw against Doncaster, but in all fairness the win could have gone either way. That result is in the past though and everyone has thrown themselves into training and preparing for the trip to Richmond Athletic Ground.

“We’ve had a tough few weeks and Saturday will once again be a huge challenge as London Scottish have proven to be a very organised unit who are tough to break down.

They’ve had great wins over Rotherham and Moseley and they also ran Cornish Pirates, Plymouth and Leeds very close so we are expecting them to come out all guns blazing.”


London Scottish
15. Grove 14. Holgate 13. Holmes 12. Trueman 11. Gosio
10. Mugford 9. Lalanne 8. Lipp 7. Calder © 6. Andrews
5. Josh T Brown 4. Pape 3. Liffchak 2. Standfield 1. Clarke

16. Auterac 17. Kwasnicki 18. Thiede 19. Thomas
20. Oli Brown 21. Heeks 22. James Brown

Bedford Blues
15. James Pritchard (c) 14. David Vincent 13. Brendan Burke 12. Ollie Dodge
11. Josh Bassett 10. Jake Sharp 9. Darryl Veenendaal
1. Sam Walsh 2. Neil Cochrane 3. Dan Seal 4. Mike Howard
5. Sean Tomes 6. Alex Rae 7. Sacha Harding 8. Don Barrell

16. Chris Locke, 17. Ben Buxton, 18. Sam Pailor, 19. Paul Tupai
20. Stefan Liebenberg, 21. Jamie Lennard, 22. Tom Bedford

Moseley v Rotherham Titans 15:00

After Sunday’s last minute one-point defeat to Leeds at Headingly, Moseley keep faith with the twenty-two who participated in that match, although there is a doubt about the fitness of Jack Adams who injured himself in training on Tuesday.

This will be the first time this season that the side has been unchanged, and the coaches will be looking to build on their second half performance last week, when their side had all but won the game until a last ditch penalty took the points.

With Rotherham buoyed by success against high-flying London Welsh last week, Moseley are sure to have a hard task on their hands.


Rotherham Titans Head Coach Andre Bester has made five changes to the side that impressively beat London Welsh 33-25 in the capital last week

The one change in the back line sees Cliffie Hodgson come in for Stephen Hamilton at full back. Up front Bester has changed both props; at loose head Jamie Kilbane replaces Shane Cahill and at tight head Rob O’Donnell comes in for Ben Hooper. In the second row Barney Maddison replaces Neale Patrick and club captain Sam Dickinson returns to the starting line up, he gives the in form Semisi Taulava a break at number 8.

Andre Bester knows Saturday visit to Moseley will present his side with a stiff challenge, he said,” We have respect for Moseley and we won’t be making too many changes, however it’s a squad game and we sawlast week at London Welsh how well the players that came in did.

There is a certain amount of rotation but we are very respectful of Moseley, they showed against Leeds that they can play rugby and can control matches. They’ve got a lot to prove and they are on their own patch and I expect them to provide us with a difficult challenge.

“Last year they gave us a fair and square hiding down there 9-5 and it was an upsetting result, I felt we played particularly bad in that game. We have a lot to prove going to Moseley!

“We are targeting the Moseley game like we target every game and if you don’t turn up and earn the result, you don’t get it. We’ve worked very hard this week as we always do and we know we have a tough task ahead of us. In the past 18 months we’ve had an apprehension about away matches, but in the last few weeks that has disappeared.

“Moseley are a better side than they were last season and they’ll have a little more self belief after pushing Leeds so close last week. They will be really up for this match given the history between the clubs in terms of coaches and players.

“Moseley have an abrasive pack, a good back line, there are very experienced in certain areas of the pitch and they are on their own
patch and are proving a very difficult side to beat. If we don’t apply ourselves properly, then we are going to be in trouble.

“But we are going to Moseley with the intention of winning the match, not damage limitation like we have on previous occasions; we’re going there to win. Likewise Moseley will have the same mindset, they will be planning the same and they will believe they can win also.

There’s a lot of respect between the clubs, but when the whistle goes that all goes out of the window and our application is going to be all important.”


1. Tom Warren; 2.Adam Caves; 3.Antony O’donnell; 4. David Lyons; 5.Paul Spivey
6. Neil Mason; 7. Michael Maltman; 8.Chevvy Pennycook; 9.Ryan Glynn; 10. Brad Davies
11.Oliver Thomas; 12.Andy Reay (Capt); 13. Greg King; 14.William Robinson; 15. Anthony Carter;

16. Richard Stott 17.Charley Thomas (Fr) 18. Craig Voisey (Fr);
19. Colin Quigley (Fr); 20. Drew Harper; 21. Sam Brown; 22. Jack Adams

Rotherham Titans:
15 Cliffie Hodgson, 14 Tom Foden, 13 Shane Monahan, 12 Pale Nonu, 11 Ed Tellwright
10 Garry Law, 9 Jimmy Williams
1 Jamie Kilbane, 2 Ted Stagg, 3 Rob O’Donnell, 4 Barney Maddison 5 Adrian Griffiths
6 Robin Copeland, 7 Sean Dougall, 8 Sam Dickinson (Capt.).

Replacements From:
16 Dan Baines, 17 Shane Cahill, 18 Ben Hooper, 19 Ross Noonan,
20 Semisi Taulava, 21 Matt Rhodes, 22 Steve Hamilton, 23 Elliot Brierley, 24 Ben Harris.

Sunday 23 October 2011

Cornish Pirates v Esher 15:00

This Match Is Live on Pirates TV

Having lost at home to Bedford Blues and then drawn away to Nottingham, the Cornish Pirates will be keen to bounce back to winning ways at home to Esher on Sunday.

The Pirates welcome back fly-half Ceiron Thomas from injury, thus enabling Rob Cook to return to his accustomed full-back role, and James Doherty is named to skipper the side, taking over from club captain Gavin Cattle at scrum-half.

In the forwards, starting roles are handed to No. 8 Ben Maidment and lock Mike Myerscough, taking over from Blair Cowan and Laurie McGlone, whilst on the bench there's a seat for centre Andrew Suniula, who has arrived in Cornwall this week after having experienced Rugby World Cup action playing for the USA in New Zealand.

Having lost at home to Bedford Blues and then drawn away to Nottingham, the Cornish Pirates will be keen to bounce back to winning ways at home to Esher on Sunday.

The Pirates welcome back fly-half Ceiron Thomas from injury, thus enabling Rob Cook to return to his accustomed full-back role, and James Doherty is named to skipper the side, taking over from club captain Gavin Cattle at scrum-half.

In the forwards, starting roles are handed to No. 8 Ben Maidment and lock Mike Myerscough, taking over from Blair Cowan and Laurie McGlone, whilst on the bench there's a seat for centre Andrew Suniula, who has arrived in Cornwall this week after having experienced Rugby World Cup action playing for the USA in New Zealand.


Esher are boosted by the return of second row Ian Kench for the away trip to Cornwall on Sunday.

After a close encounter with Championship leaders Bristol last weekend at Molesey Road Mike Schmid’s Esher are making progress and despite seven straight league defeats the mood in the camp is buoyant.

The Esher team sheet also includes Andy Wright who performed impressively against London Scottish in the British and Irish Cup as well as the two Charlies – Walker and Ingall who played LV= Cup games for Harlequins and Wasps last weekend.


Cornish Pirates: 
R. Cook, G. Pointer, D. Locke, S. Hill, D. Doherty,
C. Thomas, J. Doherty (c), B. Maidment, P. Burgess, C. Morgan
I. Nimmo, M. Myerscough, R. Brits, R. Elloway, P. Andrew.

C. Rimmer, T. Cowan-Dickie, L. McGlone, B. Cowan, T. Kessell
A. Suniula, R. McAtee.

15 Rob Kirby 14 Charlie Walker 13 Phil Mackenzie 12 Andy Wright 11 Tom Loizides
10 Mark Atkinson 9 Clive Stuart-Smith
1 Ollie Mines 2 Stuart Mackie 3 Robin Boot 4 Perry Parker 5 Ian Kench
6 Mike Macfarlane 7 Sam Stitcher 8 Chris Goodman

16 James Gethings 17 Shawn Renwick 18 James Campbell 19 Matt Symons
20 Charlie Ingall 21 Sam Edgerley 22 Jamie Mackenzie

Referee:   Michael Tutty (RFU)
Assistants:   Shane Lewis & Steve Leyshon

Leeds Carnegie v Plymouth Albion 15:00

Diccon Edwards has named his side for this Sunday's game against Albion at Headingley.

There are a number of changes to the starting line up that won against Moseley last weekend, with Iain Thornley and Sean Hohnexk both making a return to the starting line up after being ruled out through injury for the team's last three fixtures.

Michael Stephenson also comes back in on the right wing, with Steve McColl starting on the opposite wing. Craig Hampson has been named at scrum half, Joe Ford will start at fly half and Phil Nilsen is the starting hooker, with Scott Freer amongst the replacements. Ryan Burrows will miss the game after picking up a ankle injury, so Jacob Rowan will start at 8.


Leeds stand in skipper Mike MacDonald has backed his side to keep up the momentum of the last two wins as they take on Plymouth this Sunday at Headingley Carnegie.

MacDonald returned from World Cup duties with the USA a fortnight ago but has played in the wins over London Scottish and Moseley since then.

Speaking in the club’s matchday programme, he says, "It is important to build on the momentum of last two games. We wanted to start the season better but we are finding our feet now.

We know there are weaknesses in our game but we are working hard on those faulty areas and we have been looking at them this week. We have played well in spells but not consistently for 80 minutes, however that is has been a problem for Leeds for a number of years now.

When we do get an 80 minute performance we will be a formidable opponent for any team but that is in our control."


Plymouth Albion will be looking to build on their late win over London Scottish last weekend when they make the long trip to Headingley on Sunday to take on Leeds.

Albion finished strongly against Scottish with replacement Steve Johns grabbing victory for his side with the last move of the game.

Johns is rewarded for his efforts with his first Championship start of the season on Sunday.

Canadian World Cup star Aaron Carpenter has failed to recover from a knee injury in time to take his place in Albion's starting line-up team, but Plymouth hope he might be fit enough to take a place on the bench.

Carpenter's number eight shirt goes to 19-year-old former Leeds Academy player James Tyas, who will be hoping to impress on his return to Headingley.

Albion, who will be looking for their first away win of the season after narrow defeats at Doncaster, Bristol and London Welsh, are able to welcome back forwards Herbie Stupple and Addison Lockley to their squad following injuries.

Plymouth and Leeds currently sit level of points with both teams having won three matches this season.


Leeds Carnegie
15. Tommy Bell 14. Michael Stephenson 13. Iain Thornley 12. Joe Barker
11. Steve McColl 10. Joe Ford 9. Craig Hampson
1. Mike MacDonald 2. Phil Nilsen 3. David Young 4. Sean Hohneck
5. Dominic Barrow 6. Dan Hemingway 7. Chris Walker 8. Jacob Rowan

16. Scott Freer 17. Gareth Denman 18. Phil Swainston 19. Tom Denton
20. Richard Beck 21. Robbie Shaw 22. Lee Blackett

Plymouth Albion
15 James Love, 14 Steve Johns, 13 Bevon Armitage, 12 Keni Fisilau, 11 Mick McGrath
10 Paul Bailey, 9 Ruairi Cushion,
1 Rob Dugard, 2 Gareth Evans, 3 Ryan Hopkins, 4 Dan Collier, 5 Tyler Hotson
6 Sam Hocking, 7 Wayne Sprangle, 8 James Tyas.

16 Dale Farnham, 17 Cameron Mitchell, 18 Tyson Lewis, 19 David Morton
20 Davy McGregor, 21 Addison Lockley, 22 Herbie Stupple, 23 Aaron Carpenter.