British & Irish Cup Round 1 Preview

Rd 5

British & Irish Cup Round 5 Preview


British & Irish Cup Round 5

Round 5 Preview all the teams with news and comment from around the clubs


Pool 1, Cardiff 14-24 Bridgend
Pool 1, Ulster 8-14 Bristol
Pool 2, Bedwas 9-17 Neath
Pool 2, Stirling County 21-24 Bedford
Pool 3, Swansea 8-17 Carmarthen Quins
Pool 4, Newport 27-27 Cross Keys
Pool 4, Newcastle 16-6 Connach
Pool 5, Jersey 12-27 Leeds Carnegie
Pool 5, Leinster A 21-9 Pontypridd
Pool 6, Gala 20--33 Llanell
Pool 6, Moseley 13-12 London Scottish
Pool 7, Aberavon 14-18 Munster
Pool 7, Plymouth Albion 3-21 Rotherham Titans
Pool 8, Doncaster 14-16 Nottingham
Pool 8, Llandovery 34-12 Melrose


Sunday, 13 January 2013 
Pool 3, Cornish Pirates v Dundee High, 14:00

Ulster 8-14 Bristol,  P1 - Friday 19:30

UlsterBristol RugbyUlster v Bristol  
Deramore Park
Friday 11 January 2013
Kick Off 7:30pm




With only one team qualifying from each pool, a win is the only option for if the Ravens are to progress to the knock out stages.

Development hooker Niall Annett will captain the side and is joined in the front row by fellow senior cap winners Richard Lutton and Adam Macklin.

Former Leinster Academy member Alan O’Connor is joined in the second row by James Simpson. Conor Joyce, Ali Birch and Dungannon number 8 James McMahon make up the back row, with the latter making his first appearance in the competition.

The experienced Nigel Brady has been named among the replacements, with Andy Warwick, John Donnan and Neil Faloon providing further cover for the forwards. John Creighton, Stuart Morrow and Chris Colvin are the backline substitutes.

Ulster Ravens XV
(15-9) Blane McIlroy; Neil Walsh, Stuart McCloskey, Niall O’Connor, Rory Scholes
Stuart Olding, Michael Heaney;
Richard Lutton, Niall Annett (capt), Adam Macklin, Alan O’Connor, James Simpson
Conor Joyce, Ali Birch, James McMahon;

Nigel Brady, Andy Warwick, John Donnan, Neil Faloon
John Creighton, Stuart Morrow, Chris Colvin.


Liam Middleton rings the changes as Bristol prepare for this crucial clash against at Deramore Park tonight

A single point separates the sides in Pool One, with the victors this weekend all but securing a spot in the knockout stages.

The Head Coach brings in six new faces from the side that went down 32-17 to Cornish Pirates in Round 13 of the RFU Championship.

Mike Tagicakibau recovers from injury to start at outside-centre in a new-look midfield partnership with Luke Eves. George Watkins and James Grindal also come in to the backline, while David McIlwaine lines up against his former club.

In the pack, Academy duo Ben Glynn and Marco Mama are included, while James Merriman earns a start for the first time since November.

Middleton opts for a five forwards and two backs split on the bench, with Redford Pennycook and Ruki Tipuna among the replacements.

Jack Tovey; George Watkins, Mike Tagicakibau, Luke Eves, David McIlwaine
Adrian Jarvis, James Grindal (c); Kyle Traynor, Ross Johnston, Jason Hobson
Ben Glynn, Glen Townson, Marco Mama, James Merriman, Mitch Eadie.

Rhys Lawrence, Mark Lilley, Wayne Thompson, Mariano Sambucetti, Redford Pennycook, Ruki Tipuna, Tristan Roberts.

Moseley 13-12 London Scottish,  P6 - Friday 19:45

MoseleyLondon ScottishMoseley v London Scottish
Billesley Common
Friday 11 January 2013
Kick Off 7.45pm



After a heartening win last week in the League against Jersey, Moseley hope to continue in the same style against London Scottish tonight.

This is a key match for both teams, with Scottish needing to win in order to retain a chance of qualifying for the knock-out stages, and Moseley hoping to cement their place at the top of the table.

The sides have already played each other twice this season, with honours shared. Both matches were played at Richmond Athletic Ground and were very tight affairs, Scottish winning more recently in the RFU Championship whilst the Birmingham side came back miraculously from a twenty point deficit in the Cup.

Although Moseley have made a number of changes to the side which beat Jersey, Head Coach Kevin Maggs expects the game to be another close encounter. "The players from both sides will enjoy the atmosphere under floodlights on a Friday night, and this should make for an excellent spectacle for both sets of supporters" he said.

1. Ethan Waller; 2. Adam Caves; 3. Ben Evans; 4. Tom Hicks
5. Addison Lockley; 6. Neil Mason; 7. Olly Robinson; 8. Ben Pienaar
9. Sam Brown; 10. Glynn Hughes; 11. Simon Hunt; 12. Charlie Hayter
13. Greg King; 14. Brad Hunt; 15 Billy Robinson.

Replacements :
16. Sam Wilkes; 17. Stefan Thorp; 18. Danny Herriott; 19. Buster Lawrence
20. Mike Powell; 21. Anthony Carter; 22. Oliver Thomas.

London Scottish

Director of Rugby Simon Amor makes three changes to the starting XV for tonights clash at Moseley.

PJ Gidlow is restored at inside centre, with former Moseley captain Andy Reay moving to 13 and Oli Grove deployed on the left wing. Scrum half Jamie Stevenson is once again given the chance to impress following his man of the match performance against Bedford.

In the pack, Joe Trayfoot is given the nod at blindside flanker, with Chevvy Pennycook switching to the openside. Josh Thomas-Brown is selected alongside Paul Spivey in the second row.

There is a strong replacements bench with Mark Irish, Tyler Hotson and Lewis Calder ready to be called upon. Scottish have opted for a five-two split of forwards and backs.

London Scottish
15. Jim Thompson; 14. James Love, 13. Andy Reay, 12. PJ Gidlow
11. Oli Grove; 10. Phil Godman, 9. Jamie Stevenson
1. Nic Mayhew, 2. Adam Kwasnicki, 3. Colin Quigley; 4. Paul Spivey
5. Josh Thomas-Brown; 6. Joe Trayfoot, 7. Chevvy Pennycook, 8. Mark Bright

16. Mark Irish, 17. Harry Allen, 18. Alex Mackenzie, 19. Tyler Hotson
20. Lewis Calder, 21. Richard Bolt, 22. Dan Mugford

Cardiff v Bridgend, P1 - Saturday 14:30

CardiffBridgend RavensCardiff v Bridgend
Cardiff Arms Park
Saturday, 12 January
Kick Off 2:30pm




Although this result will not affect the eventual winners of the Pool, pride is at stake as Cardiff sit behind Bridgend in the current standings.

15 Joe Griffin 14 Tom Williams 13 Richard Smith 12 Cory Allen
11 Shaun Powell 10 Will Thomas 9 Sion Hopkins
1 Campese Ma’afu 2 Aaron Fowler 3 Ryan Harford 4 James Murphy
5 Matthew Screech 6 Rory Watts-Jones 7 Thomas Young 8 Ellis Jenkins

16 Lewis Smout 17 Ethan Lewis 18 Will Griff John 19 Alwyn Lee
20 Ben Roach 21 Garyn Lucas 22 Matt Smith


Bridgend have made a number of changes from the side that came up short against Carmarthen Quins in the league last weekend.

Ashley Evans, Rhys Thomas and Tom Grabham all come in to the backline with Jamie Murphy returning to fly-half after a couple of games in the number 15 jersey. Chris Williams also starts at scrum-half in place of the injured Tom Habberfield.

The pack is also full of changes, with lock Alex Jones and flanker Owain Lloyd the only two consistencies with last week's starting XV. Recent signing Tom Morgan will make his third appearance for the Ravens at Number 8 with Arthur Ellis and Alun Evans also joining the ranks.

Up in the front row, Ashleigh James returns to the starting line-up at Hooker, flanked by props Marc Thomas and Daniel Suter.

Cardiff have won both league fixtures against the Ravens this season so the visitors will be keen to level the playing field with a cup double and bring some pride back to Bridgend.

Bridgend Ravens
15. Ashley Evans 14. Luke Morgan 13. Rhys Thomas 12. Sam Campbell
11. Tom Grabham 10. Jamie Murphy 9. Chris Williams
8. Tom Morgan 7. Arthur Ellis 6. Owain Lloyd 5. Alex Jones (c)
4. Alun Evans 3. Daniel Suter 2. Ashleigh James 1. Marc Thomas

Chris Francis, Ken Dowding/Gary Carpenter, Owen Williams, Matt Llewellyn
Lloyd Evans, Kyle Barrett, Ben Thomas

Bedwas v Neath, P2- Saturday 14:30

BedwasNeathBedwas v Neath  
The Bridgefield
Saturday, 12 January
Kick Off 2:30pm



With qualification to the next stage of the competition over, this break from league action gives Head Coach Steve Law the opportunity to rest some of his squad and give opportunities for others.

Steve Law said ‘We remain focussed on the job in hand but I wanted to give some of the fringe players a chance to stake a claim for a starting place. Neath have seen the return from injury of a number of their first team squad and are playing well. They present us with a good challenge we are all looking forward to.’

15 Matthew Minty 14 Lewis Hudd 13 Josh Jones 12 Scott Williams
11 Matthew John 10 Stuart Thomas 9 Tom Rowlands
8 Sam Feehan 7 Tom Organ 6 Phil Sargent 5 Kyle Maiden
4 Chris Bundy 3 Matthew Pettit 2 Ben Roberts 1 Dan Preece:

16 Matthew Phelps 17 Rhys Hutcherson 18 Elliott Dee 19 Aaron Harris
20 Josh Davies 21 James Thomas 22 Rory Budina


Neath make several changes from the side that lost at Pontypridd last week. Behind the scrum, Lloyd Phillips partners Dean Cummins at centre with Luc Jones coming in at scrum-half. Tata’s Ceri Jones comes in at prop with Leon Ward returning.

Coach Patrick Horgan said, “We have stressed at training this week that against the top sides in Wales – and Bedwas are presently the League leaders – we cannot afford to let our guard drop.

“We have introduced a lot of newcomers this season and we are looking to them to match the very high and demanding standards we have here at The Gnoll and we are looking for a big improvement all round especially after doing so well at Aberavon.”

15 Kyle Davies; 14 Matthew Jones, 13 Lloyd Phillips, 12 Dean Cummins
11 Chris Morgans; 10 David Langdon, 9 Luc Jones
1 Owain Ford, 2 Rhodri Clancy, 3 Ceri Jones; 4 Rhys Jones,
5 Jonny Griffiths; 6 Lee Evans (captain),  8 Steffan Jones, 7 Leon Ward

16 Rowan Davies, 17 Alun Wyn Davies, 18 Nathan Ace, 19 Jordan Collier
20 Matthew Rees, 21 Aaron Bramwell, 22 Ben Jones

Other News

Neath RFC have been deducted four competition points for fielding two ineligible players, Marc Jones and John Leyshon, in the British & Irish Cup fixture vs. Bedford Blues on December 8 2012.

Marc Jones had previously appeared for Cross Keys in the British and Irish Cup, while John Leyshon had played for Bridgend in the same competition, both on October 20.

As a result, the players were ‘cup-tied’ and therefore ineligible to appear for Neath in the competition, as per British and Irish Cup regulation 4.2.

Stirling County v Bedford P2 - Saturday 14:00

Stirling CountyBedford BluesStirling County v Bedford
Bridgehaugh Park 
Saturday, 12 January
Kick Off 2pm


Stirling County

John Welsh and Ed Kalman have been released by by Glasgow for this match. 

Ruaridh Leishman comes in for Rob McAlpine and Robbie Boswell starts for Tim Clarke in the loose.  Joff Hope comes in for the injured Ben Addison.

Stirling County
15 Jonnie Hope 14 Byron McGuigan 13 Mark Bennett 12 Brian Archibald
11 Rory Hughes 10 Stuart Edwards 9 Sean Kennedy
1 Mike McDonald 2 Alex Moffat (capt.) 3 Ed Kalman 4 Ruaridh Leishman
5 Craig Deacons 6 Steve Swindall 8 Bengy Barsanti 7 Robbie Boswell

16 John Welsh 17 Reyner Kennedy 18 Colin Hutton 19 Sruan Robertson
20 Tim Clarke 21 Danny Gilmour 22 Colin Turnbull


Having won four out of four and taking a bonus point from each Pool Two game so far, Bedford will want to continue their good form in the cup competition as they look to seal a quarter final place.

Looking ahead to the game, Blues backs coach Paul Larkin said: “Everyone was disappointed with the result last weekend, but that is in the past, the lads have been superb in training this week and everyone is champing at the bit to return to action.

“We’ve enjoyed a good run in the cup this season but we know that we need to perform for the full 80 minutes if we want to take anything from the game against Stirling who will certainly want to put in a big performance in front of their home fans.”

Bedford are close to a fully fit squad with only long term casualties Sacha Harding and Henry Staff unavailable. Ollie Dodge has recovered from the ankle injury which he picked up against Bristol two months ago and is starts at 13 in place of Brendan Burke while Ian Vass and Mark Kohler come in for Jake Sharp and Josh Bassett respectively. Up front Chris Locke,

Ben Cooper, Gregor Gillanders, Tom Armes and Don Barrell all start in place of Neil Cochrane, Dan Seal, Ben Gulliver, Darren Fox and Paul Tupai.

15. James Pritchard (c) 14. James Stephenson 13. Ollie Dodge 12. Mark Atkinson
11. Mark Kohler 10. Ian Vass 9. Luke Baldwin
1. Ricky Reeves 2. Chris Locke 3. Ben Cooper 4. Mike Howard
5. Alex Rae 6. Gregor Gillanders 7. Tom Armes 8. Don Barrell

16. Neil Cochrane, 17. Phil Boulton, 18. Darren Fearn, 19. Ben Gulliver
20. Joe Vandermolen, 21. Ali Price, 22. Brendan Burke

Swansea v Carmarthen Quins  P3 - Saturday 14:30

SwanseaCarmarthen QuinsSwansea v Carmarthen Quins
St Helens
Saturday, 12 January
Kick Off 2:30pm




15 Nicky J Thomas 14 Jamie Thomas 13 Chris Shelmerdine 12 Nicky Harwood
11 Rhys Williams 10 Cameron Clement 9 Aled Lewis
1 Matthew Norman 2 Ieuan Dobbs 3 Nicky Thomas 4 Ben Fox
5 Sam Kiley (c) 6 Rob Dudley-Jones 7 Matthew Davies 8 Dan Baker

 16 Scott Otten 17 Nicky Smith 18 Ian Williams 19 John Barley
20 James McKenna 21 Jake Cole 22 David Watts

Carmarthen Quins

Carmarthen Quins:
R. Thomas; D. Morgan, A. Pickersgill, R. James, J. Harries
J. Maynard, R. Wells; R. Evans, G. Robinson, T. Davies
C. Jones, H. Pugh, S. Bennett, L. Joseph, J. Davies.

A. Beaujean, R. Guest, I. Jones, A. Laxton, R. Gallagher, C. Lloyd, C. Banfield, D. Daniel.

South Wales Evening Post Preview

Newcastle v Connacht, P4 - Saturday 15:00

Newcastle FalconsConnachtNewcastle v Connacht
Kingston Park
Saturday, 12 January
Kick Off 3pm



Newcastle Falcons welcome back skipper Will Welch to the starting line-up for tomorrow’s clash with Connacht Eagles at Kingston Park. The 22-year-old talisman has made a full recovery from a back injury which has put paid to the majority of this season.

Falcons boss Dean Richards has made six further changes with Tom Catterick, James Fitzpatrick, Andrew Higgins and Warren Fury all coming into a new-look backline.

Scott MacLeod is the only other change in the pack, replacing towering lock James Hudson who drops to the bench.

Victory for the northeasterners this weekend will seal their place in the quarter-finals of the competition.

Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards said: “After scoring four tries against Doncaster and getting five points, you can’t ask for more in some respects, but there’s room for improvement and the players know that.”

“We’ll try our best and hopefully get the five points, which has been happening quite a lot this season, but it’s really not about that and it’s the performance that we’ll be focusing on,” he added.

Newcastle Falcons:
15 Tom Catterick, 14 Luke Fielden, 13 Tane Tu’ipulotu, 12 James Fitzpatrick
11 Andrew Higgins, 10 Waisea Luveniyali, 9 Warren Fury
1 Jonny Golding, 2 Rob Vickers, 3 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 4 Carlo del Fava
5 Scott MacLeod, 6 Mark Wilson, 7 Will Welch (c), 8 Richard Mayhew

16 Michael Mayhew, 17 Scott Wilson, 18 James Hudson, 19 Chris York
20 Rory Lawson, 21 Joel Hodgson, 22 Alex Crockett


Connacht Eagles make four changes to the starting XV of the team that beat Cross Keys 31-16 in the last round.

Speaking about the fixture,  Eagles Coach Jimmy Duffy said: “We are going over there wanting to compete and just looking to focus on our own game.

“We can’t do a huge amount about the Falcons, who have a great set-piece and lots of quality players, but there has been a real buzz about the guys because they are looking forward to testing themselves on that stage.

On the last time they met the Falcons in round 2, he said:  “Newcastle had a lot of quality and were a very big physical side that night – probably the biggest we have faced.

 “It was great for our boys to come up against a team like that, and they were very accurate in everything they did.

 “For large portions of the night we did pretty well, but we lacked a bit of decisiveness at key times. That is one thing we hope to address when we come over on Saturday and we know we will have to eliminate mistakes at crucial stages.”

Connacht Eagles
15  Steve Macauley 14  Mark McCrea 13  Tadhg Leader 12  Brian Murphy
11  Conor Finn 10  Jack Carty 9 Dave Moore
1 Rodney Ah You 2 Adrian Flavin 3 JP Cooney 4 Conor Kindregan
5 Dave Gannon 6 TJ Anderson (captain) 7 Dave Heffernan 8 Aaron Conneely

16  Kevin O’Byrne 17  Finlay Bealham 18  Ultan Dillane 19  Charlie Butterworth
20  Marcus Walsh 21  Mata Fifita 22  Finn Gormley

Newport v Cross Keys, P4  - Saturday 14:30

NewportCross Keys Newport v Cross Keys  
Rodney Parade 
Saturday, 12 January
Kick Off 2:30pm


Newport host their local rivals from Pandy Park in this return fixture, Newport won the first match  24-20 back in October, their 100th win since fixtures began back in 1910.

For many years the Keys have lived in the shadow of their more famous neighbours and over the years many players have drifted the short distance to find fame at Rodney Parade.

Newport have dominated matches since the clubs first met in 1910 when Newport ran out 24-6 winners at Rodney Parade, but Keys will point to the fact that they currently should be considered to be Gwent’s top club

Last season not only did they do the double over the Newport in the Welsh Premier League but also took their place in the B&I Cup, progressing all the way to the final.

Newport :
G O'Driscoll, O Broad, D Robinson, W Richards, E Frewen
T Hancock, J Leadbeater, J Jeune, R Prosser, G Robinson (capt)
D Rosser, R Jones, B Lampitt, O Griffiths, R Coombs.

D Rogers, D Pattison, J Sullivan, L Randall, S Sneddon, A Hewitt, R Downes..

Cross Keys

Qualification from this group was always going to be an uphill battle for both sides considering the presence of the almost unstoppable Newcastle Falcons in the same group.

So perhaps Saturday's game shows that nothing more than local pride is at stake with the result of this game.

Cross Keys are captained by Garry Horrigan, who will also captain Keys against Newcastle next weekend with Rob Nash being given a well deserved rest just as many of his team-mates have also been.

Cross Keys
15. Gareth David 14. Jonathan Lewis 13. Will Owen 12. Aled James
11. Nathan Trowbridge 10. Dean Gunter 9. Ryan James
1. Richard Cornock 2. Garry Horrigan (c) 3. Craig Gould 4. Danny Hodge
5. Ollie Hodge 6. Tom Lampard 7. Scott Matthews 8. Adam Powell

James Johnstone, Gerwyn Price, Sean Higgins, Rob Nas
Rhys Dyer, Dorian Jones, Nathan Williams.  

Jersey v Leeds Carnegie, P5 - Saturday 15:00

Jersey RugbyLeeds CarnegieJersey v Leeds Carnegie
St Peter Saturday,
Saturday, 12 January
Kick Off 3pm



Jersey and Leeds face each other for the fourth time in as many months this weekend.

The Yorkshiremen took the opening honours at Headingley at the start of September, winning 32-19, before being defeated 27-33 by Jersey in the B&I tie held at York RUFC, and again by 20-17 in treacherous conditions at St Peter three weeks ago.

Although neither side has any realistic chance of winning the pool and qualifying for the knock-out stages of the B&I tournament, Ben Harvey thinks the chance of a 3-1 ‘series win’ over Carnegie is a prize worth winning.

Jersey’s Director of Rugby has made significant changes to his Jersey squad, pledging that there are places up for grabs for the Championship run-in.

Just six of the starting line-up from last weekend’s disappointing league defeat against Moseley are in the XV for the B&I fixture.

Harvey denies this is a matter of rotation, or resting certain players, saying there is an opportunity for those selected to grasp.

In the backs, Tom Cooper and Ross Broadfoot both start after coming off the bench at Moseley, with Mike Le Bourgeois switching to full-back.

Partnering the returning Donovan Sanders on the wing will be 18-year-old Chris Levesley, making just his third 1st XV appearance of the season having come on as a replacement against Bristol and Leinster ‘A’.

The Jersey pack sees the front-row replacements from last weekend swapped with the starting trio, while Rob Anderson gets a run-out at lock in place of skipper Nathan Hannay and Paul Rodgers replaces Graham Bell at flanker. Hannay and Bell will be on the bench, alongside the three front-row players, scrum-half Brendan O’Brien and full-back/ winger Glenn Bryce.

1 Richard Barrington 2 Charlie Clare 3 James Gethings 4 Rob Anderson
5 Dave Markham 6 Paul Rodgers 7 Kingsley Lang 8 Guy Thompson
9 Nicky Griffiths 10 Ross Broadfoot 11 Chris Levesley
12 Tom Cooper 13 Dai Bishop 14 Donovan Sanders 15 Mike Le Bourgeois

16 Sean McCarthy 17 Dave Felton 18 Jon Brennan 19 Nathan Hannay
20 Graham Bell 21 Brendan O’Brien 22 Glenn Bryce

Leeds Carnegie

Leeds Carnegie Head Coach Diccon Edwards has made ten changes to his side to face Jersey.

Only winger Matt Clark and fly half Rory Clegg remain in the backline from last week's team that beat Plymouth at Headingley Carnegie.

Oli Goss returns after illness whilst Pete Lucock, Curtis Wilson and Christian Georgiou get the chance to impress in the backline. Craig Hampson swaps places with James Doherty at scrum half.

In the forwards, Damien Tussac, Dominic Barrow and Ryan Burrows are retained whilst Ben Harris, Joe Graham, Matt Smith and Chris Walker start this week after coming off the bench against Plymouth.

University of Leeds Chemistry student Pierce Phillips returns to the second row after featuring in both games against Pontypridd in the last round of the British & Irish Cup.

Leeds Carnegie
15. Christian Georgiou 14. Matt Clark 13. Oli Goss 12. Pete Lucock
11. Curtis Wilson 10. Rory Clegg 9. Craig Hampson
1. Ben Harris 2. Joe Graham 3. Damien Tussac 4. Matt Smith
5. Pierce Phillips 6. Dominic Barrow 7. Chris Walker 8. Ryan Burrows

16. Phil Nilsen 17. Sam Lockwood 18. Rob Baldwin 19. Jacob Rowan
20. James Doherty 21. Joe Ford 22. Stevie McColl

Leinster A v Pontypridd, P5 - Saturday 1:00


Leinster A v Pontypridd
Saturday, 12 January
Kick Off 2pm



This match at Donnybrook sees a showdown between the top two sides in Pool 5, with Ponty and Leinster on fifteen points each.

David Kearney starts at full-back for Leinster after recovering from a quad injury and is named in a backline which has to date served the province well in this year’s competition.

Fionn Carr and Andrew Conway are named on the wings with Jordan Coghlan named at inside centre alongside Brendan Macken.

At half-back, John Cooney again links up with Noel Reid who has scored 40 points to date in this year’s B&I Cup.

Leo Auva’a, who has touched down three times so far, is named at number eight in a pack which includes Jack McGrath as Captain, while Ben Marshall locks down alongside Mark Flanagan.

Leinster ‘A’:
15: David Kearney 14: Andrew Conway 13: Brendan Macken 12: Jordan Coghlan
11: Fionn Carr 10: Noel Reid 9: John Cooney
1: Jack McGrath (cap’n) 2: Thomas Sexton 3: Jamie Hagan 4: Ben Marshall
5: Mark Flanagan 6: Dominic Ryan 7: Conor Gilsenan 8: Leo Auva’a

16: James Tracy 17: Jack O’Connell 18: Jack Conan 19: Josh van der Flier
20: Luke McGrath 21: Cathal Marsh 22: Andrew Boyle


Ponty recordeded a 25-23 home win over Leinster A back in October with a last gasp try from centre Dafydd Lockyer, but Lockyer will not have the opportunity to repeat his match winning exploits as he is sidelined with a dead leg.

Another absentee will be flanker Rhys Shellard with a jarred neck, an injury suffered in Ponty’s last encounter against Neath.

15.Geraint Walsh. 14.Chris Clayton. 13.Adam Thomas. 12.Gary Williams
11.Owen Williams. 10.Dai Flanagan. 9.Carl Thomas.
1.Chris Phillips. 2.Huw Dowden. 3.Keiron Jenkins. 4.Cory Hill
5.Chris Dicomidis – cpt. 6.Ed Siggery. 7.Wayne O’Connor. 8.Dan Godfrey.

16.Lloyd Williams. 17.Simon Humberstone. 18.Matthew Nuthall. 19.Darran Harris
20.Craig Locke. 21.Jake Thomas. 22.Bradley Thyer.

Gala v Llanelli, P6 - Saturday 15:00

GalaLlanelliGala v Llanelli
Saturday, 12 January
Kick Off 3pm



Its all still to play for as this is the only pool where any of the 4 teams can still go through

If Gala can avoid the nightmare of their opening 10 minutes in the reverse match with Llanelli, when they went 24-0 down within 9 minutes, they are still in with a shout, but are reliant upon other results in the final 2 rounds

Both sides - on 10 points - will be looking for London Scottish to overturn Moseley, who currently top the group with 15.

L Pettie, R Anderson, E McQuillin, C Weir, O Palepoi
C Keddie, G Graham, E Dods, Geo Graham, L Millar
G Somerville, B Turner, C Auld, G Young, A McLean.

C Mackintosh, C Hogg, T Weir, J King, D Owenson, S Cairns, C Robertson.


Llanelli’s spokesman writing on their website says, In almost all the B&I fixtures in this group the sides have really made an effort to play exciting rugby and I’m sure this coming game will be no exception.

Gala have won their two home fixtures against Moseley & London Scottish so will be really up for the challenge that we will bring to them. For Llanelli, if we are to stay alive in this year’s competition we must secure a win.”

15 Dion Jones 14 Dale Ford 13 Steffan Hughes 12 Chris Keenan
11 Kyle Evans 10 Owen Williams 9 Aled Davies
1 Shaun Hopkins 2 Kirby Myhill  3 Aled Hopkins 4 Jake Ball
5 Joel Galley 6 Lewis Rawlins 7 Duane Eager (Capt) 8 Craig Price

16 Jamie Kaijaks 17 Craig Hawkins 18 Craig Cross19 Stuart Leach
20 Nathan Hart  21 Justin James 22 Jonny Lewis

Aberavon v Munster, P7 - Saturday 14:30

AberavonMunsterAberavon v Munster
Talbot Athletic Ground
Saturday, 12 January
Kick Off 2:30pm


the Wizards welcome Munster A to the Talbot Athletic Ground still looking for their first win in this year’s competition, however they have twice gained losing bonus points at home, losing narrowly to Rotherham 21-25 and Plymouth 20-21.

Munster, meanwhile, are four points clear on top of Pool 7 and have their sights on the play offs with two rounds remaining.

Paul Bamsey; Richard Carter, Richard Thomas, Will Price, Ricky Thomas
Craig Evans, Joe Heatley; Neil White, Gareth Harvey, Andrew Clatworthy
Gavin Ronan, Sam Williams (capt), Ben Thomas, Nathan Strong, Chris Davies.

 Nathan Jones, Jamie Davies, Joe Tomalin-Reeves, Evan Yardley
Lee Purnell, Rowan Jenkins, Richard Morris.


Ian Costello takes a side Port Talbot that includes six players with Heineken Cup experience in addition to CJ Stander who would almost certainly would have been in the current European squad only for sustaining a hand injury in his second outing since arriving from South Africa.

Stander is part of a formidable looking back row that includes Sean Dougall - he captains the side - and Dave O'Callaghan for a game that Munster need to win to keep control of Pool 7.

And Costello can expect a serious examination at the Talbot Athletic ground tomorrow. When the sides met in Tralee RFC in October, the Welsh led 8-7 at half time and extended that lead with an early second half penalty.

However once Munster got into their rhythm tries from Barry O'Mahony and his brother Ronan eased them to a 19-11 victory.

D Hurley; D Barnes, S Deasy, I Dineen, R O'Mahony
JJ Hanrahan, C Sheridan; J Cronin, D Casey, A Cotter
D Foley, I Nagle; Dave O'Callaghan, S Dougall, CJ Stander.

N Scannell, C Condon, B Hayes, R Murphy, B Haugh, J Holland, D Sweetnam.

Plymouth Albion v Rotherham P7 - Saturday 15:00

Plymouth AlbionRotherham Titans Plymouth Albion v Rotherham Titans
Saturday, 12 January
Kick Off 3pm



Plymouth Albion

Albion head into Saturday’s British & Irish Cup Pool 7 match at Brickfields with Rotherham knowing only a win will really do if they are to have any chance of reaching the quarter-finals .

Albion currently sit second in their group level on points with third-placed Rotherham and four points behind leaders Munster, who their play in their final fixture.

Plymouth want to go to Ireland next week knowing they can pip the holders to a last eight spot.

“We are trying to win this game,” said head coach Nat Saumi. “We want to get the points that will give us a chance going into the following week.”

Albion and Rotherham have already met twice this season, with wins going with home advantage. Albion won the league game at Brickfields 15-3, while Rotherham won a high-scoring cup match at Clifton Lane 59-26.

Jack Andrew, Lloyd Fairbrother, Will Carrick-Smith, Wayne Sprangle, Harrison Hovey, Paul Rowley, Bevon Armitage and Jack Arnott, who was this weekend named in England Under-20s elite squad, come into Albion’s starting line-up, while back-row forward Sam Hocking is included on the bench following a month of the sidelines with a hamstring injury.

Another England Under-20 player, Luke Cowan-Dickie, is handed a chance to impress at hooker.

Plymouth Albion
1. Jack Andrew 2. Luke Cowan-Dickie 3. Lloyd Fairbrother 4. Brett Beukeboom
5. Will Carrick-Smith 6. Harrison Tovey 7. Wayne Sprangle 8. Sean Michael-Stephen
9. Paul Rowley 10.Paul Roberts 11. Jack Arnott 12. Bevon Armitage
13. Toby Howley-Berridge 14. Rhodri McAtee 15. Paul Bailey

16. Ruairi Cushion 17. Keni Fisilau 18. Sam Matavesi 19. Ben Rogers
20. Tom Cowan-Dickie 21. Alex Brown 22. Sam Hocking


Rotherham Titans have had a good week’s preparation ahead of their visit to Plymouth Albion on Saturday, however, a number of injuries picked up in last week’s Championship match against Nottingham, has contributed heavily to Alex Codling making ten changes to his starting line up.

Along the Titans back line a new centre pairing of Joel Gill and Pale Nonu come in for the injured pair of Eamonn Sheridan and Lee Blackett. Following an impressive on-loan display for Sheffield Tigers last week, Mike Doneghan returns hoping to impress on the wing. Jimmy Williams knee injury prevents him from travelling, meaning Charlie Mulchrone will start at scrum half.

In the pack there an entire new front row with Jamie Kilbane, Dan Baines and Gareth Denman coming in; Ross Davies is unavailable for selection due to a shoulder injury. Dan Sanderson comes back into contention in the second row, whilst Joe Ellyatt gets the nod at open side flanker with Carl Kirwan ruled out with a back injury. Alex Rieder’s shoulder injury sidelines him, so Rory Pitman will start in the number 8 jersey.

Looking ahead to the fixture, Titans Head Coach Alex Codling said, “We had a great result in Munster last time out in the B&I Cup and we are looking to build on that terrific result. Unfortunately, by us coughing up a late penalty in Ireland and allowing them to get a draw out of the match, we have now lost control of the group.

However, we are not out of the competition and we’ve got to go down there and get the win and that’s what our aim is.

“Momentum is also important to us; we have been playing well of late, despite the Nottingham result and we are sending a strong side down there which we feel will give us an opportunity to keep our momentum moving in the right direction.

“Every away game is a difficult proposition and we know it will be tough down at Plymouth, but it’s a challenge we are relishing.

Our work ethic around the place is getting better all the time; the boys are ready, the spirit in the camp is good and we are all looking forward to the game. We’ll go down there and give it a real go, the game doesn’t hold any fears for us but it will be a massive challenge.”

15 Fergus Mulchrone, 14 Peter Homan, 13 Joel Gill, 12 Pale Nonu
11 Mike Doneghan, 10 Garry Law (Capt.), 9 Charlie Mulchrone
1 Jamie Kilbane, 2 Dan Baines, 3 Gareth Denman, 4 Ben Thomas
5 Dan Sanderson, 6 Toby Freeman, 7 Joe Ellyatt, 8 Rory Pitman.

16 Ted Stagg, 17 Marshall Gadd, 18 Nile Dacres, 19 Latu Makaafi
20 George Oliver, 21 James McKinney, 22 Ed Styles.

Doncaster v Nottingham, P8 - Saturday 14:30

Doncaster KnightsNottinghamDoncaster v Nottingham
Castle Park
Saturday, 12 January
Kick Off 2:3pm




Most notable inclusions in the Doncaster side sees the return at full-back of last season’s top try scorer Michael Keating who has spent a long time on the injury list with a shoulder problem picked up on the first day of the 2012/13 league campaign at Plymouth after scoring a contender for try of the season.

Director of Professional Rugby, Clive Griffiths also gives starts to his two newest signings in Will Hafu and Joe Bedford.

Tongan international hooker Hafu takes his place alongside Tom Davies and Tomas Francis in a strong front-row partnership. The back five of the scrum is unchanged from last time out against Newcastle in another strong starting pack.

Bedford makes his debut at scrum-half partnering Canadian Connor Braid at outside-half. The centre partnership has also been reshuffled as Leicester Tigers loanee Andy Symons links up with Will Simpson.

The replacements bench sees a mixture of youth and experience as Jack Bergmanas gets the nod to cover both hooker and prop after impressing in the reverse leg of the B&I Cup at Meadow Lane, whilst the Knights will be without Rhys Buckley for three weeks as he serves a suspension.

Backs substitutes Chris Hallam, Jamie Lennard and Tom Luke will bring a lot of experience in the closing stages to a must win match if the Knights are to progress out of the Pool Stages in the B&I Cup.

Doncaster Knights
15) Michael Keating 14) Dougie Flockhart 13) Will Simpson 12) Andy Symons
11) Tyson Lewis 10) Connor Braid 9) Joe Bedford
1) Tom Davies 2) Will Hafu 3) Tomas Francis 4) Matt Challinor ©
5) Dominic Parsons 6) Sam Pailor 7) Jethro Rawling 8) Chris Planchant

Brian McGovern, Jack Bergmanas, Royce Cadman, David Bradford
Chris Hallam, Jamie Lennard, Tom Luke.


Nottingham head coach Martin Haag has kept faith with Jack Cobden for Saturday’s must-win clash with Doncaster after the winger impressed on short notice last week.

Cobden was a surprise late call-up for the Green and Whites’ RFU Championship game at Clifton Lane, replacing David Jackson who succumbed to illness just hours before kick-off against Rotherham.

The former young England international marked his return, having struggled with niggling foot and hip injuries during the first half of the season, with his first try of the campaign in the opening minutes against the Titans.

Jackson has now fully recovered, but the triple centurion takes his place on the bench.

“Jack came in at late notice and did really well for us which I’m immensely pleased with,” Haag said.

“One thing we talk a lot about here is making sure that whenever you get your opportunity that you are ready to take it because sometimes it is easy not do as much training, go a bit off the rails and not know all the moves as well as those who are playing week-in-and-week out.

“Everyone has to be ready, on their mettle, and not coasting through – just because someone is not named in selection during the week doesn’t mean they don’t stand a chance of playing on the weekend.

“Jack showed he was ready, he wasn’t picked in the side on Friday afternoon but was out there playing on Saturday.”

Alex Lewington will again move to full-back with Cobden slotting in at right wing.

The only other change to Haag’s starting XV is the inclusion of centre Andy Forsyth with Joe Munro rested for the trip to Yorkshire.

On the bench, Joe Quinn is brought in to replace teenager Tom Price who was this week called up to the England under-20 squad.

15 Alex Lewington 14 Jack Cobden 13 Tim Streather 12 Andy Forsyth
1 Rhys Crane 10 James Arlidge 9 Sean Romans
1 Jonny Harris 2 Shaun Malton 3 Michael Holford 4 Dan Montagu
5 Nic Rouse 6 Rupert Cooper 7 Brent Wilson 8 Tom Calladine.

16 Scott Wright 17 Ryan Bower 18 Joe Quinn 19 Alex Shaw
20 Finlay Barnham 21 Joe Cobden 22 David Jackson.

Other News

RHYS Buckley of Doncaster Knights appeared before an RFU Disciplinary panel on Thursday evening at the Coventry Holiday Inn, charged with stamping or trampling, contrary to Law 10.4 (b) during the British & Irish Cup fixture vs Llandovery RFC on December 8 2012.

Buckley pleaded guilty to the charge and was given a three week ban. He is free to play again on February 1.

The Panel comprised HHJ Sean Enright (chair), Daniel White and Peter Rhodes.

Llandovery v Melrose,  P8 - Saturday 15:00

LlandoveryMelroseLlandovery v Melrose 
Church Bank
Saturday, 12 January
Kick Off 3pm




Drover’s Chairman Handel Davies, writing on the clubs website, says: Whilst both Clubs have been in existence for well over 130 years this season’s British & Irish Cup competition has provided the opportunity for both clubs to face each other for the very first time! With the Drovers winning at Greenyards last October in Round 2,

Melrose will come searching for revenge in today’s 5th round encounter whilst a win for the red and whites would leave them handily placed to qualify for the quarter final stages.

15. Chris Knight 14. Jake Randall 13. Matthew Jacobs 12. Jack Roberts
11. Aaron Warren 10. James Garland 9. Rhodri Williams
8. Lloyd Phillips (Captain) 7. Shaun Miles 6. Phil Day 5. Llewelyn Jones
4. Bryn Griffiths 3. Dean Howells 2. Tom Ball 1. Wyn Jones

16. Peter Edwards 17. Dorian Williams 18. Matthew Harbut  19. Richard Brooks
20. Luke Lewis 21. Lee Rees 22. Cerith Rees


15 Fraser Thomson 14 Callum Anderson 13 Andrew Letham 12 Richard Mill
11 Joe Helps 10 Andrew Skeen   9 Bruce Colvine
1 Nicky Little 2 Alun Walker  3 Gary Holborn  4 Peter Eccles
5 Ross Miller  6 John Dalziel  7 Hamish Watson  8 Andrew Nagle

16 Richard Ferguson 17 Chris Keen 18 Ross Ovens 19 Steve Lowe
20 Scott McCormick 21 Bruce Dick 22 Jamie Murray

Cornish Pirates v Dundee High,  P3 - Sunday 14:00

Cornish PiratesDundee HighCornish Pirates v Dundee High   
Mennaye Field
Sunday 13 January
Kick Off 2pm

Cornish Pirates

Scottish side Dundee High make their first ever visit to Penzance for this Pool 3 British & Irish Cup game, where a Pirates victory means qualification for the quarter-finals.

Pirates won 32-6 in Dundee back in October, but their Scottish opponents are currently in good form and won 35-12 at Currie in the RBS Premiership last week, when former Scotland full-back/wing Rory Lamont, who is expected to play this week, impressed.

A win for the Pirates would have supporters dreaming of the prospect of reaching the final once again, with memories of the occasion when they became inaugural winners of the trophy after beating Munster 23-14 at Camborne in 2010.

This weekend, the Pirates will be led by Gary Johnson who will partner David Lyons in the second-row.

Darren Semmens starts at hooker, whilst a starting role in the back-row has also been earned by Alex Cheesman, having featured for the Pirates mainly at centre, he has recently impressed as a replacement flanker.

Following the late withdrawal of full-back Kyle Moyle through injury. Wes Davies moves from wing to full-back, Tom Bedford from centre to wing, Tom Riley is called off the bench to partner Sam Hill in the centre, and Tom Riley's place on the bench is taken by Junior Fatialofa.

A good weather forecast for Sunday is a bonus, as spectators can expect to see some thrilling running rugby on the drying Mennaye Field.

Cornish Pirates:
W. Davies, B. Mercer, T. Riley, S. Hill, T. Bedford
Keiron Hallett, Tom Kessell, Phil Burgess, Alex Cheesman, Ben Maidment
Gary Johnson (capt), David Lyons, Ben Prescott, Darren Semmens, Ryan Storer.

Paul Andrew, Rob Elloway, Peter Joyce, James Tyas
Tom Duncan, Gavin Cattle, J. Fatialofa

A good weather forecast for Sunday means spectators can expect to see some thrilling running rugby on a drying Mennaye Field.

Cornish Pirates:
Kyle Moyle, Ben Mercer, Tom Bedford, Sam Hill, Wes Davies
Keiron Hallett, Tom Kessell, Phil Burgess, Alex Cheesman, Ben Maidment
Gary Johnson (capt), David Lyons, Ben Prescott, Darren Semmens, Ryan Storer.

Paul Andrew, Rob Elloway, Peter Joyce, James Tyas
Tom Duncan, Gavin Cattle, Tom Riley.

Match Officials
Referee: Neil Perkins (WRU)
Assistants: Nick Williams & Dino Maddern

Dundee High

This game will provide a massive challenge for Dundee against  previous winners Cornish Pirates who have had a very good run of results the most recent being a good win against Bristol which has moved them into the top 4 in the Championship.

Dundee have benefited from the experience of this competition with the increased intensity and sheer physical challenge and realisation that any lapse in concentration is punished heavily .

Dundee’s last two games against Carmarthen which resulted in a last kick defeat in Wales and a last kick victory at Mayfield in December has given the squad a boost and they travel to Cornwall with a clear understanding of what is required to win at this level.

In a number of changes to the Dundee side, James Johnstone replaces his Glasgow colleague Taylor Paris who is away playing sevens for Canada and Rory Lamont continues his comeback after managing a 60 mins stint without any reaction to his injury in last weeks satisfying win against Currie.

In the pack Richie Hawkins makes a start with Andy Linton taking his spot on the bench.

Dundee High
15. Rory Lamont 14. Andy McLean 13. Harry Duthie (Capt) 12. Jack Steele
11. James Johnstone 10, Brandyn Laursen 9. Robbie Lavery
1. Steve Longwell 2. Darrel Russell 3. Alan Brown 4. Andy Redmayne
5. Richie Hawkins 6. Danny Levison 7. Iain Wilson 8. Richie McIver

16. TBC 17. TBC 18. Gav Robertson 19. Andy Linton
20. Andy Dymock 21. Jamie Urquhart 22. Callum Bowie