RFU Championship News


RFU Championship News 21st September


RFU Championship News Friday 21st September 2012

Round 4 Teams & Previews
Plus news and comment from around the clubs and what the papers say.

Saturday 22 September 2012
Bedford v Nottingham 15:00
London Scottish v Doncaster 15:00
Moseley v Plymouth Albion 15:00
Rotherham Titans v Jersey 15:00

Sunday 23 September 2012
Cornish Pirates v Newcastle 15:00
Leeds Carnegie v Bristol 15:00

Bedford v Nottingham Saturday 15:00

Bedford BluesNottinghamBedford v Nottingham
Saturday 22nd September 2012
Goldington Road
Kick Off 3pm


Following their second home win of the season last weekend, Bedford are hoping to make it three on the bounce when they welcome Nottingham to Goldington Road tomorrow.

The Blues have been in impressive form at home so far this season and have racked up 50 points in each encounter, but they are only too aware of the threat posed by the Green and Whites who tasted defeat for the first time against Rotherham last weekend.

Bedford will be without winger James Stephenson, who scored a hat-trick against London Scottish, due to a hip injury while Ben Gulliver, who went off after the half hour mark on Saturday, also misses out.

Looking ahead to Saturday’s game, Bedford Blues Director of Rugby Mike Rayer said: “We know full well that Nottingham will be hurting following their home defeat to the Titans last weekend and we can expect quite the backlash on Saturday afternoon. A number have things have changed at Nottingham over the summer but we know that they will turn up with a strong set of forwards as well as a group of backs who enjoy throwing the ball around and having a real crack.

“We’ve been happy with how the season has started for us in regards to scoring plenty of tries, but we have also shipped a few a well - I’m sure London Scottish will have felt they could have picked up a bonus point. It is an area that we need to strengthen and I’m sure Nottingham will give us a stern test come 3pm on Saturday.”

Bedford make four personnel changes to the team that defeated London Scottish with Josh Bassett and Paul Tupai starting in place of the injured James Stephenson and Ben Gulliver respectively. Darren Fearn is set for his debut at loosehead prop while Ian Vass starts at fly half with Jake Sharp moving to the bench.


Nottingham prop Matt Parr has recovered from injury to reclaim his starting spot against Bedford

The inclusion of the seasoned loosehead sees Michael Holford shuffle across to tighthead and Ryan Bower move back to the replacements bench in what is the only change to the Green and Whites starting XV that was beaten by Rotherham last week.

The 27-16 home loss to the Titans has done nothing to panic Nottingham, with the outfit determined to bounce back immediately against the Blues.

Having secured back-to-back wins to start the campaign, forwards coach Neil Fowkes has the utmost confidence in the side responding the right way against the RFU Championship high flyers.

“By no means are we ripping up everything we have done these past couple of weeks because of a loss,” Fowkes said.

“We showed what we were capable of against Leeds after a slow 20 minutes, using the maul to get into the game and setting the platform for the backs. Against Moseley we put another good 60 minutes together to grind out a tough win.

“We all talk about producing an 80 minute performance and that’s precisely what we need, because for 60 minutes against Rotherham we were comfortably in it.”

The letdown of conceding their first loss at home has been a powerful motivator at Nottingham’s Lady Bay training ground this week.

“Some boys came in last week and were hugely disappointed in how they performed personally. There was a good realisation with where we are at,” Fowkes said.

“In terms of selection it would be difficult to say ‘that is your one chance gone’ and change things immediately. No, they know what they have to do this week and we have kept the faith in them.

“There has been a good mindset at training all week with a real buzz about getting back out there, because everyone from the coaching team down wants to put things right.”

As for the solitary change, Parr’s early season form was too good to ignore.

“With how Matt performed in those first two league games, and the experience he brings to that front five, as soon as he was 100 per cent fit he was going to be back in the team,” Fowkes said.

The only other changes to the match day 22 is the inclusion of newly signed hooker Scott Wright from Sedgley and the recall of centre Joe Cobden to the bench.

No matter who is named to do the job, Fowkes stressed that the Green and Whites cannot fall victim to their own mistakes again.

A spate of second half errors curtailed Nottingham’s chances against Rotherham, culminating in blunders that led directly to both of the visitor’s tries.

“We’ve spoken about it a lot and seen it on the match footage plenty of times. We did a lot of things that made it hard for ourselves,” Fowkes said.

“What we must do is stick to our systems, stay with the programme and follow through with the game plan.”

15. James Pritchard (c) 14. Ollie Dodge 13. Ben Ransom 12. Mark Atkinson
11. Josh Bassett 10. Ian Vass 9. Darryl Veenendaal
1. Darren Fearn 2. Scott Spurling 3. Ricky Reeves 4. Paul Tupai
5. Mike Howard 6. Alex Rae 7. Darren Fox 8. Tom Armes

16. Neil Cochrane, 17. Phil Boulton, 18. Gregor Gillanders, 19. Sacha Harding
20. Luke Baldwin, 21. Jake Sharp, 22. Brendan Burke

Nottingham Rugby
15 Andrew Savage 14 David Jackson 13 Tim Streather 12 Joe Munro
11 Rhys Crane 10 James Arlidge 9 Sean Romans
1 Matt Parr 2 Joe Duffey 3 Michael Holford 4 Dan Montagu
5 Nic Rouse 6 Rupert Cooper 7 Brent Wilson 8 Alex Shaw.

Replacements from:
16 Scott Wright 17 Ryan Bower 18 Joe Quinn 19 Tom Calladine
20 Finlay Barnham 21 Rory Lynn 22 Joe Cobden.

What The Papers Say

Bedford Today Michael Hann
With just three games of the Championship season played, Bedford and Newcastle are the only unbeaten sides left in the league.

And Rayer believes it shows the strength of the league this year and that his side need to be at their best in every game.

“If you are one or two per cent off invariably you come unstuck,” he said

“Every win is vital and every point gained is vital in trying to get into the top four.”

Full Story /www.bedfordtoday.co.uk

Nottingham Post
David Jackson is part of the furniture at Nottingham Rugby – and head coach Martin Haag says he brings so much to the table

After making his senior debut for the Green and Whites 12 years ago, Jackson, 30, is now the club's most capped league player after making his 267th appearance in their last game , the defeat against Rotherham Titans at Meadow Lane.

It was his first start of the Championship season, after an Achilles injury, and Haag says the full-back is a great example to every Nottingham player.

"It's a huge landmark for Jacko," said Haag.

"He's been around for a long time and he's always been in Nottingham.”

Full Story www.thisisnottingham.co.uk

Other News

London Scottish v Doncaster Saturday 15:00

London ScottishDoncaster Knights London Scottish v Doncaster
Saturday 22nd September 2012
Athletic Ground
Kick Off 3pm

London Scottish

London Scottish return to The Athletic Ground and hopefully a return to winning ways this Saturday against Doncaster Knights.

Scotland international Phil Godman makes his first appearance in a London Scottish squad, taking his place on the bench, with Dan Mugford starting at fly half.

Centre PJ Gidlow will face his old side and is relishing the opportunity to take on former teammates.

Gidlow: “I'm looking forward to it, really looking forward to it and playing against them. It's always nice to play against your mates and hopefully we will get a win at the end of it."


Brett Davey has made just three changes to the starting line-up that suffered defeat to Newcastle Falcons last weekend as the Doncaster men search for their first win of the new campaign away to London Scottish tomorrow.

The Director of Rugby has stuck with the same back division that opened up against Dean Richards’ title favourites in the North-East. In the forwards, the Knights have been boosted by the return from injury of loose-head prop Tom Davies replacing the already impressive Brian McGovern, who will be likely to feature from the bench.

Dominic Parsons will also return to the starting side at lock after recovering from a slight shoulder strain. The only other addition is back-row player Sam Pailor who is given the nod at no.8 after a spirited performance from the substitutes bench at Kingston Park last Friday.

The inclusion of seasoned campaigner and fan favourite Chris Planchant in the replacements list, who has overcome his off-season injury, will give added fight and experience to the squad in the closing stages.

One man who has remained a consistent in the Knights’ first choice side is dependable fly-half Jamie Lennard. His kicking for goal and intuition behind the scrum so far this season has been exemplary, but the former London Irish playmaker knows that a huge team effort is needed if they are to triumph at the Athletic Ground

“I think London Scottish have massively improved this season, the number of points they scored against Newcastle highlights how dangerous they can be in attack as Falcons’ defences are normally solid.

“From what we have seen in analysis they like to play open rugby, we’ve noticed a few things that we will hopefully be able to capitalise on, but it will certainly be a tough test.

“As with the all the games so far we have a massive focus on defence, to our credit our defences held firm for the vast majority of the Newcastle match.

“The competition in this league now is crazy; the standard has gone up another notch, but we are travelling to London hungry and to get the win.

“We go into every game with a winning mentality; we never turn up to any venue thinking that we are going to get beat, be that top or bottom of the league so our intention is to take all the points at Scottish. We may be winless thus far, but confidence is high going into this weekend.”

London Scottish
15 James Love 14 Dave McCall 13 Jim Thompson 12 PJ Gidlow
11 David Howells 10 Dan Mugford 9 Richard Bolt
1 Alex Clarke 2 Adam Kwasnicki 3 Alex MacKenzie 4 Paul Spivey
5 Tyler Hotson 6 Joe Trayfoot  7 Chevvy Pennycook 8 Mark Bright

16 Harry Allen 17 Colin Quigley 18 Josh Thomas Brown 19 Lewis Calder
20 Ross Samson 21 Phil Godman 22 Ryan Westren

Doncaster Knights
15) Dougie Flockhart 14) Dante Mama 13) Will Simpson 12) James Tincknell
11) Tyson Lewis 10) Jamie Lennard 9) Chris Hallam
1) Tom Davies 2) Rhys Buckley 3) Jerry Cronin 4) Phil Hoy
5) Dominic Parsons 6) Matt Challinor © 7) Jethro Rawling 8) Sam Pailor

16 Andy Brown, 17 Ben Sowery, 18 Brian McGovern, 19 Chris Planchant
20 Andy Boyde, 21 James Munro, 22 Tom Barrett.

What The Papers Say

The Star, Steve Hossack
Knights’ head coach Glen Kenworthy is looking for a more complete performance at London Scottish than away at title favourites Newcastle Falcons last Friday night.

“Our set-piece was poor, and you can’t win a game if you haven’t got a good set-piece,” said Kenworthy. “Looking at the stats after the game they were 50 per cent on each one and in my eyes we should be up around 85 per cent.

“As the set-piece was poor we didn’t have a lot of ball. We’ve put a lot of emphasis on our set-piece play but it was a bad day at the office as regards that aspect of our game.

 “Speaking as a coach I think the defence is the hardest to get sorted because there are elements in a good defensive display that you can’t really coach. A lot of it is to do with the attitude of a player

Full Story www.thestar.co.uk/sport

Moseley v Plymouth Albion Saturday 15:00

MoseleyPlymouth Albion Moseley v Plymouth Albion
Saturday 22nd September 2012
Billesley Common
Kick Off 3pm


Moseley entertain Plymouth Albion at Billesley Common, for what should be an exciting and intriguing contest.

Last season there were five fixtures between the two clubs, with all five results going the way of the home side. Both teams have very different appearances to those which played last year, the result of wholesale squad changes made in the summer as the inevitable consequence of bottom-four finishes.

Albion have made the better start of the two, beating Doncaster and Leeds at home and their only defeat being a narrow one in their derby match away at Cornish Pirates.

Moseley Coach Kevin Maggs hopes to field a similar line-up to that which gained victory away at Championship newcomers Jersey in the last round of matches. ”I hope that the performance last week can kick-start our season” he said.

Plymouth Albion

Albion will be looking to make it three wins out of four on Saturday when they head to Billesley Common to take on Moseley.

Albion have beaten Yorkshire sides Doncaster and Leeds at home, with their only defeat so far this season being a 19-17 reverse at the Cornish Pirates.

Plymouth did lose on three occasions at Billesley Common last season, but head coach Nat Saumi feels his team will head to Birmingham this weekend in good heart after their bonus point win over Leeds last week.

"We got a maximum five points from that game, so that will have given the team confidence," said Saumi.

"But it is always tough to go to Moseley and win."

Albion make three changes to their team that started against Leeds.

Henry Slade, who came on as a half-time replacement last week, starts at full-back in place of the injured Louis Messer, Paul Bailey takes over from Tom Bowen on the wing and David Morton returns in place of the injured Lloyd Fairbrother in Albion's front-row.

1. Chaz Meddick; 2.Adam Caves; 3. Craig Voisey; 4.Addison Lockley
5.Buster Lawrence; 6.Neil Mason; 7.Ben Pons; 8.Ben Pienaar;
9. Sam Brown; 10.Glynn Hughes; 11 Billy Robinson; 12.Charlie Hayter;
13. Greg King; 14. Simon Hunt; 15. Oliver Thomas

16.Sam Wilkes;17. Nigel Burrows; 18. David Hilton; 19.Oliver Robinson
20. Alex Day; 21. Brad Davies; 22. Brad Hunt

15 Henry Slade, 14 Paul Bailey, 13 Toby Howley-Berridge, 12 Bevon Armitage
11 Jack Arnott, 10 Paul Roberts, 9 Ruairi Cushion
1 Jack Andrew, 2 Jon Vickers, 3 David Morton, 4 Brett Beukeboom,
5 Ien Ascroft-Leigh, 6 Rupeni Nasiga, 7 Sam Hocking, 8 Sean-Michael Stephen (capt).
16 Paul Rowley, 17 Lewis Warner, 18 Wayne Sprangle, 19 Ryan Hopkins
20 Tom Cowan-Dickie, 21 Harrison Tovey, 22 Keni Fisilau.

What The Papers Say

Birmingham Post, Peter Keenan
After the best part of two decades with the Red and Black, Ben Pons’s Moseley career might just be about to start.

In the first three games the gifted openside has been in outstanding form and if such an award existed for Player of the First 13.6 per cent of the Season, the inscriber need look no further.

A defiant performance at Bedford was followed up by an eye-catching one against Nottingham and if Pons didn’t stand out quite as much in Jersey, it was because the level of those around him rose, while his remained admirably and consistently high.

So high, in fact Kevin Maggs, has already mentioned as a possibility for young master Pons, selection for the RFU Championship XV due to face the New Zealand Maoris in November.

Full Story www.birminghampost.net

Western Morning News
Sam Hocking is on the best try-scoring run of his life at the moment for Plymouth Albion.

The back-row forward scored nine tries in the four pre-season matches he played and he has continued that form into the new Championship campaign.

'I was happy I did not get moved around. I am feeling quite comfortable at seven' said Hocking

Hocking has managed to get on the scoresheet in all three of Albion's league matches. So far he has scored against Doncaster, Cornish Pirates and Leeds.

Full Story www.thisisdevon.co.uk

Rotherham Titans v Jersey Saturday 15:00

Rotherham Titans Jersey Rugby Rotherham Titans v Jersey
Saturday 22nd September 2012
Clifton Lane
Kick Off 3pm

Rotherham Titans

Titans go into their first ever competitive match against Jersey having made four changes to the side that beat Nottingham away last time out

In the back line Club Captain Garry Law makes his first start of the season, following injury at outside centre, replacing the injured Lee Blackett. At scrum half Jimmy Williams returns allowing Joel Gill some “rest” time. Dan Baines comes back into the fold at hooker for Ted Stagg, whilst Latu Makaafi also makes his first start for the club coming in at open side flanker for Carl Kirwan.

Titans Head Coach Andre Bester is content of where the team are right now, despite a number of injured players within the squad, Bester revealed, “Toby Freeman is almost ready to come back into the squad and he should be available for selection next week. We could have pushed him in there this week, but we’d prefer not to take any chances, not just with Toby but with all our players. We want everyone who takes to the field to be 100% fit.

“Lee Blackett is also out with a dead-leg; again we could have selected him at a push, but as I’ve said it’s about looking after the players. Laurence Pearce is still unavailable, he’s having a scan on his knee today and we should know more when the results come back.

“Fergus Mulchrone is back into training and he’s looking very good, but it will be probably another 3 weeks before we see him on the pitch. He’s looking good and he’s eager to get involved and we are exited at the prospect of all those boys coming back into the squad.

“We’ve put Mike Doneghan on the bench this week and he’s another boy who’s looking to make an impact when the opportunity presents itself. Mike Doneghan made a huge impact when he came on in pre-season against Saracens and Worcester and he is the most experienced winger that we have at the club, despite him still being so young. We are exited by Mike and he’s been unlucky, but it is a long season in the Championship and everyone will get their opportunity at some stage.

“We are very content of where we are with these boys right now and the attitude they have shown so far has been great. We have got good players all over the pitch; but you are only as good as your next match and that will be determined on Saturday when we take on Jersey.

“We will need to do the little things very well and what I’m trying to teach players is to do the basics better than anyone else and be patient and everything else will fall into place. We do have a good depth within the squad, there’s a good work ethic there and there’s a great team spirit and all of that puts us in a good place right now.”


Jersey will feature a new half-back pairing as they go in search of their first win of the season at Rotherham Titans tomorrow.

Mikey Le Bourgeois makes his first start of the season at fly-half in place of Ross Broadfoot, and will play outside the experienced Dave McCormack, who replaces Nicky Griffiths, injured in the loss to Moseley last weekend.

McCormack will be familiar to many rugby followers in Yorkshire having formerly played for Otley and Bradford & Bingley before joining Jersey in 2009.

New signings Barry Davies and Ed Tellwright will also be on show for the Islanders. Former Wales and Ospreys full-back Davies makes his debut, while ex-Rotherham flyer Tellwright, unveiled in last Saturday’s home fixture, will join Glenn Bryce in the wing berths. Dai Bishop returns from injury at centre.

The Jersey pack features another former Titan, the Tongan international Talite Vaoileti, who spent an injury-plagued 2011/12 season at Clifton Lane. ‘Vee’ is joined by Fred Silcock in the back row as the ex-Loughborough Student earns his first start ahead of Nick Trower. Richard Barrington and Rob Anderson return to the starting XV in place of Sean McCarthy and Dave Markham.

Director of Rugby Ben Harvey remains confident of his team’s ability to compete at Championship level.

“I’ve got a great young squad – they are inexperienced at this level, but they have real talent and are learning fast, and when they play to their potential they will achieve results.”

Both Jersey and Rotherham have reached the Championship from the lower reaches of the RFU pyramid. Rotherham’s rapid rise up the league ladder in the 1990s, culminating in the Premiership, has been emulated by the Islanders’ ascent in recent years, which has involved five promotions in the past eight seasons.

15 Mike Whitehead, 14 Eamonn Sheridan, 13 Garry Law (Capt.) 12 Pale Nonu
11 Peter Homan, 10 James McKinney, 9 Jimmy Williams,
1 Shane Cahill, 2 Dan Baines, 3 Ross Davies, 4 Neale Patrick
5 Barney Maddison, 6 Alex Rieder, 7 Latu Makaafi, 8 Rory Pitman.

16 Ted Stagg, 17 Simon Gardiner, 18 Marshall Gadd, 19 Dan Sanderson
20 Carl Kirwan, 21 Mike Doneghan, 22 Joel Gill.

1 Richard Barrington 2 Steve Boden 3 Ben Evans 4 Nathan Hannay (capt)
5 Rob Anderson 6 Talite Vaoileti 7 Guy Thompson 8 Fred Silcock
9 Dave McCormack 10 Mike Le Bourgeois 11 Glenn Bryce 12 Donovan Sanders
13 Dai Bishop 14 Ed Tellwright 15 Barry Davies

16 Dave Felton 17 Sean McCarthy 18 Dave Markham 19 Kingsley Lang
20 Nick Trower 21 Brendan O’Brien 22 Ashley Maggs

Cornish Pirates v Newcastle Sunday 15:00

Cornish PiratesNewcastle FalconsCornish Pirates v Newcastle
Sunday 23rd September
Mennaye Field
Kick Off 3pm



Cornish Pirates

Despite the Pirates defeat at Bristol there was much to admire and the team will be fully focused to give a good account of themselves against the high flying Falcons.

Matt Evans, the Championship's top try-scorer with six to his name after three games, misses this one having been injured at the end of the match against Briz and in a reshuffle Wes Davies moves from full-back to the wing.

Kieran Hallett is selected at full-back whilst Aaron Penberthy takes the fly-half berth.

In the forwards Chris Morgan replaces the injured Kyle Marriott and Phil Burgess takes over the captaincy role.

David Lyons will partner Gary Johnson in the second-row, with Darren Barry dropping to the bench, and Ryan Storer and Alan Paver form the propping pair.

Ben Prescott is unavailable because he is away in Scotland with his wife, who is due give birth in the next few days.

Paul Andrew and recent signing Peter Joyce are named among the replacements, as is Lewis Vinnicombe.

The on loan Redruth winger, who had a spell playing for the Pirates in 2006-07, came off the bench to play his part when the Pirates lifted the EDF Energy National Trophy against Exeter at Twickenham that season.


Ally Hogg captains Newcastle Falcons for this trip to Cornish Pirates as the northeasterners aim to make it four wins in a row.

Hogg skippers the side in the absence of Will Welch who suffered concussion in last week’s bonus point triumph over Doncaster Knights.

Falcons’ boss Dean Richards has made four changes for the journey south with Alex Crockett and Joel Hodgson getting the nod in the backline.

Crockett replaces James Fitzpatrick at the heart of the Falcons backline while Hodgson is handed the No.10 jersey.

Rob Vickers starts at hooker and Taiasina Tu’ifua returns to openside flanker after two weeks on the sideline.

“We are expecting a very difficult test down there at the Pirates and you just have to look at the quality of rugby that they play,” said Richards who has made the perfect start to life on Tyneside with 15-points out of 15.

“Cornish Pirates play a very expansive game and have scored a lot of tries this year, and they are probably the most consistent in terms of their style of performance.

“They are a very good side and I said the other night on television that I think it is a very difficult place to go even for any Premiership side and I don’t think that many would come back with a win,” added Richards.

Despite suffering a 29-17 defeat at Bristol last weekend, the Penzance outfit will be a tough proposition at the Mennaye Field according to Richards.

Richards said: “We are looking to win and we are certainly going down there for the win – more than anything I want to come away with a ‘w’ and providing we get that I will be happy.”

Cornish Pirates:
K. Hallett, T. Bedford, T. Riley, J. Fatialofa, W. Davies
A. Penberthy, T. Kessell, B. Maidment, P. Burgess (capt), C. Morgan
G. Johnson, D. Lyons, A. Paver, R. Elloway, R. Storer.

P. Andrew, D. Semmens, Peter Joyce, D. Barry
G. Cattle, A. Cheesman, L.Vinnicombe.

Newcastle Falcons: 
15 Jimmy Gopperth, 14 Luke Fielden, 13 Alex Crockett, 12 Tane Tu’ipulotu,
11 Tom Catterick, 10 Joel Hodgson, 9 Rory Lawson,
1 Jonny Golding, 2 Rob Vickers, 3 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 4 Scott MacLeod
5 James Hudson, 6 Ally Hogg (c), 7 Taiasina Tu’ifua, 8 Richard Mayhew

16 Matt Thompson, 17 James Hall, 18 Carlo del Fava, 19 Mark Wilson
20 Jordi Pasqualin, 21 Jamie Helleur, 22 Alex Tait

Referee: Greg Macdonald (RFU) 
Assistants: Tom Foley & Brian Ravenhil

What The Papers Say

BBC Sport
Cornish Pirates prop Alan Paver says his team have what it takes to be the first to beat Newcastle Falcons in the Championship this season.

34-year-old Paver, who has returned to fitness after missing the start of the season with injury, says Pirates have the mentality to win.

"We're going out there to give it our all and we think we can sneak it," he told BBC South West Sport.

"We have the feeling that a lot of teams have approached them in a mental state that isn't conducive to winning. "We must go out there with an attitude that we have a chance of winning.

Full Story www.bbc.co.uk/sport

Mark Smith, The Journal
Three games into the new campaign and the Falcons are already two points clear at the top of the table, but Falcons prop Jonny Golding is adamant there is plenty more to come ahead of Sunday’s trip to fellow contenders Cornish Pirates.

 “We have shown in flashes what we are capable of, but we have not yet put the full 80 minutes together. We know how good we can be and are working hard to make it happen, but there are still a lot more improvements to come.”

 Flying down in a bid to minimise the impact of the journey, Golding said: “Sunday at Cornish Pirates will be as tough a test as you are likely to get in this division.

“They are an outstanding side, and we will have to be on top of our game to get a result. We have done our analysis on them, and they are a good side who play good rugby.

“Obviously we have a lot of respect for what they bring to the table, but we are predominantly concentrating on ourselves this week in the build-up and working on what we need to do.

Full Story www.journallive.co.uk

Mark Smith, Evening Chronicle
Jimmy Gopperth has revealed that life in the Championship has been a bit of an eye-opener.

This weekend sees them (Falcons) making the 960-mile round-trip to Penzance, where they meet Cornish Pirates in the quaint but virtually ramshackle surroundings of the Mennaye Field.

“It has been a little bit of a culture shock, but you have just got to get beyond that and concentrate on your game,” said Gopperth.

“Visiting London Scottish saw us playing in a pretty small stadium with only a thousand or so people watching, and it is definitely a bit different.

“You can’t worry about external things like that, though, because we have got a major job to do. We know in our Falcons culture that if you don’t perform you won’t be playing next week, and in every single game you have to put your best foot forward.”

Full Story //www.chroniclelive.co.uk

Other News

Newcastle Falcons have appointed experienced businessman Paul Varley as executive vice-chairman.

Varley joins the Falcons having previously been managing director of North East based Carillion Energy Services where he had responsibility for all aspects of the £800m business and 3,000 staff.

Bringing a wealth of experience to Kingston Park gained from a variety of business sectors and senior leadership roles, and as a current non-executive director of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, Mr Varley is an established business leader across the region.

The appointment comes hot on the heels of the Falcons’ perfect start to life in the RFU Championship which has seen Richards’ men rack up three bonus point wins in a row to cement their place at the top of the table.

With the Falcons keenly plotting an immediate return to the Aviva Premiership, Mr Varley’s appointment strengthens their senior leadership team.

Mr Varley will focus in the short term on strengthening the off-field management structure while also maximising the opportunities for wider commercial development.

The club hopes that the appointment will create a similar injection of impetus in the boardroom to match its positive progress on the pitch.

Club owner Semore Kurdi said: “I’m delighted to be able to welcome Paul to the Falcons team. His background, experience and knowledge will be invaluable to the club’s off-field development and will create a number of opportunities for us to grow and expand our presence.

“We have made an encouraging start to our on-field quest for promotion back to the Premiership, and it’s important that we have the right team in place to support that and drive our development forward.

“Paul’s appointment will be a big step in helping us to achieve our goals and I’m extremely pleased to have him on board.”

Paul Varley said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to get involved and make a difference to one of the biggest sporting institutions in the region.

“As a long-standing fan, I know how important the club is in people’s lives and I am genuinely excited by the potential that exists here and I can’t wait to get started.”

Leeds Carnegie v Bristol Sunday 15:00

Leeds CarnegieBristol Rugby

Leeds Carnegie v Bristol
Sunday 23rd September
Kick Off 3pm

Leeds Carnegie

Diccon Edwards has named his side to face Bristol at Headingley on Sunday.

Stevie McColl returns at full back, having missed Carnegie’s visit to Plymouth and David Doherty returns to the wing in place of Pete Lucock. James Doherty also comes back into the starting line up and Joe Graham is set to make his first start for the club.

Phil Nilsen and Craig Hampson are named on the bench and Ben Harris and Matt Smith are also amongst the replacements and could make their first appearance for the club


Skipper Iain Grieve will make his one-hundredth competitive appearance for the Club when Bristol take on Leeds on Sunday

Bristol – who make three changes from the side that overcame Cornish Pirates 29-17 - go in search of their third successive RFU Championship victory.

Liam Middleton names Grieve at blindside flanker in place of Redford Pennycook, while Glen Townson is selected in the second row alongside Ben Glynn.

Bristol make one change to the backline as Tristan Roberts returns to the starting line-up in place of Matthew Jones.

The Head Coach opts for a four forwards and three backs split on the bench, with dual-registered centre Ben Mosses included among the replacements.

15. Stevie McColl 14. Curtis Wilson 13. Josh Griffin 12. Fred Burdon
11. David Doherty 10. Joe Ford 9. James Doherty
1. Sam Lockwood 2. Joe Graham 3. Damien Tussac 4. Calum Green
5. Mike Myerscough 6. Richard Beck 7. Jacob Rowan 8. Ryan Burrows

16. Phil Nilsen 17. Ben Harris 18. Ben Hooper 19. Matt Smith
20. Dan Hemingway 21. Craig Hampson 22. Jamel Chisholm

Bristol Rugby
Jon Goodridge; Mike Tagicakibau, Luke Eves, Jack Gadd, Matt Williams
Tristan Roberts, James Grindal; Kyle Traynor, Rhys Lawrence, Bruce Douglas
Ben Glynn, Glen Townson, Iain Grieve (c), James Merriman, Mitch Eadie.

Tom Channon, Wayne Thompson, Roy Winters, Redford Pennycook
Ruki Tipuna, Matthew Jones, Ben Mosses.

What The Papers Say

The Bristol Post
LIAM Middleton has warned his Bristol players that Leeds will click at some point in the near future – and has urged them to make sure it does not happen at Headingley this Sunday.

"I give Leeds a lot of respect, because I don't look at their results, I look at the team that they field – and it's a very, very talented group of players," said Middleton, pictured.

"They will click at some point – and we have to make sure it's not while we are playing them.

"Middleton, whose team are one point off the all-important top four of the Championship after three games, even believes Leeds could challenge for a play-off spot this season.

Full Story www.thisisbristol.co.uk

Other News

Leeds Carnegie have signing Wharfedale captain and number eight Rob Baldwin for the remainder of the 2012-13 season.

Baldwin, the England Counties player said, “I am really pleased to have the chance to play in the Championship with Leeds Carnegie. I would not have left Wharfedale for any other club but the chance to train full time and play at a higher level was a great opportunity and one that I did not want to look back on and say ‘what if’.

“I have had other chances down the years but things have not worked out for me workwise. I am the Production Director for my family business, Byworth Boilers, so I didn’t want to be too far from home, coming to Leeds Carnegie is perfect for me."

“I have worked with Leeds forwards coach Dave Baldwin before with England Counties and I am looking forward to working with him again. He initiated the move to Leeds Carnegie so I have a lot to be thankful to him for. There is a lot of competition in the back row at Leeds so I know I will have a big job on my hands but I am looking forward to that and hopefully can prove my worth,” added Baldwin.

Leeds Carnegie Director of Rugby Chris Gibson commented, “Rob is a great addition to our squad and someone who has a wealth of experience from his time at Wharfedale and Otley. He has fitted in extremely well with the squad already and will give us another option in our back row with his style of play.”