RFU Championship News

November 30th

RFU Championship News 30th November

 
 

RFU Championship News Friday 30th November 2012

Round 11 Teams & Previews
Plus news and comment from around the clubs and what the papers say.

Friday 30 November 2012
Bristol v London Scottish 19:45   BBC Radio Bristol
Doncaster v Jersey 19:45  Live On Channelonline TV   BBC Radio Jersey
Newcastle v Plymouth Albion 20:00   BBC Newcastle     BBC Radio Devon

Saturday 1 December 2012
Moseley v Rotherham Titans 12:45

Sunday 2 December 2012
Cornish Pirates v Nottingham 14:00 Live On Pirates TV
Leeds Carnegie v Bedford 15:00   BBC Radio Leeds

RFU

 

RFU Round 11 Preview

RFU Championship Stats


Bristol v London Scottish - Friday 19:45

Bristol RugbyLondon Scottish Bristol v London Scottish 
Friday 30th November
The Memorial Ground
Kick Off 7:45pm

BBC Radio Bristol

 

Bristol

Alafoti Faosiliva will make his first appearance in a blue and white jersey when Bristol Rugby face London Scottish at the Memorial Stadium tonight.

The Samoan international’s inclusion is the only change to Liam Middleton’s side, as the Head Coach keeps faith in the players that recorded a 21-8 victory over Plymouth Albion last weekend.

Luke Eves and Jack Tovey - who made their fiftieth league start for the Club at Brickfields – are named in the backline, while try-scorer Redford Pennycook retains his place in the back row.

Bristol continue with a five forwards and two backs split on the replacements bench, with Kyle Traynor returning to the 22-man squad after international duty.

Bristol
Jack Tovey; George Watkins, Luke Eves, Ben Mosses, Mike Tagicakibau;
Adrian Jarvis, Ruki Tipuna; Bruce Douglas, Ross Johnston, Jason Hobson
Mariano Sambucetti, Glen Townson, Iain Grieve (c), Redford Pennycook, Alafoti Faosiliva.

Replacements:
Rhys Lawrence, Kyle Traynor, Gaston Cortes, Ben Glynn
Marco Mama, James Grindal, Tristan Roberts.

London Scottish

London Scottish have named an unchanged starting XV for their trip to Bristol.

Director of Rugby Simon Amor keeps the faith the starting side that beat Moseley 23-18 at the Richmond Athletic Ground last Saturday.

Mark Bright once again captains the side from No. 8 after his return from injury and last weekend’s Man of the Match Colin Quigley keeps his place at tight-head.

Five London Scottish players will be making their returns to the Memorial Stadium as former Bristol players: Chevvy Pennycook, Andy Reay and Mark Irish will start the match, with Richard Bolt and Billy Moss named on the replacements bench.

Moss, Lewis Thiede and Joe Trayfoot are also added to the bench as Scottish opt for a five forwards and two backs split.

London Scottish
15. Jim Thompson 14. James Love 13. Oli Grove 12. Andy Reay
11. Gerard Mullen 10. Phil Godman 9. Ross Samson
1. Mark Irish 2. Adam Kwasnicki 3. Colin Quigley 4. Paul Spivey
5. Alex Karonias 6. Ben Russell 7. Chevvy Pennycook 8. Mark Bright (c)

Replacements
16. Billy Moss 17. Harry Allen 18. Lewis Thiede 19. Sam Twomey
20. Joe Trayfoot  21. Richard Bolt 22. PJ Gidlow

What The Papers Say

The Bristol Post

Few players have received such a build-up to their Bristol careers as Alatofi Faosiliva – but Liam Middleton is confident  the Samoan will prove he was worth the wait.

The powerful back-rower's time both immediately before and since joining Bristol has been beset by setbacks and false starts – but he will finally make his bow against London Scottish this evening.

The 27-year-old's arrival in the country was delayed by red tape, then, when he was being readied for his debut, came a call from Samoa for their Test against Canada.

And, as misfortune would have it, the versatile back-row man suffered a knee injury on international duty and was ruled out for three weeks.

But he is fit again now and head coach Middleton believes this evening's Championship  match offers the perfect opportunity to introduce the former Toulon man.

Full Storywww.thisisbristol.co.uk

The Bristol Post

Brotherly love will make way for sibling rivalry at the Memorial Stadium tonight  – and both Redford and Chevvy Pennycook admit it will be "strange" to face each other in action.

The Pennycooks, both of whom are flankers, came through the ranks together at Bristol and are more used to sticking up for – rather than competing against – one another.

"It's strange, because he is my younger brother, so, growing up, you are always trying to protect them – but on the pitch you are opponents," said Redford, who is 17 months older.

"It's probably a bit harder for Red, because I am his younger brother," said Chevvy, 25. "But when we played against each other before, we didn't really cross paths, so it wasn't too bad.

"But it is going to be strange and I think our parents find it a bit weird. I know our mum definitely won't enjoy it."

Full Story www.thisisbristol.co.uk

The Bristol Post

LIAM Middleton expects the arrival of Serge Betsen as defence coach at London Scottish to offer them an immediate lift going into tonight's match.

In a further change at Scottish, the club's players, while not becoming fully professional, will start training during the week in daylight hours rather than twice a week under floodlights.

But it is the appointment of Betsen that stands out – and Bristol head coach Middleton said: "I think there will be a spike in their performance – Serge Betsen will bring some structure and some enthusiasm to their pack.

"I don't know about his coaching credentials, but I'm glad he isn't playing against us – it's better that he sits in the stand! He was a phenomenal player and I think he will help them."

Full Story www.thisisbristol.co.uk

Other News

London Scottish Officially Announce New Coaching Setup.

Following  the resignation of Forwards and Defence Coach Alex Codling at the start of the season, Scottish have been searching for a suitable replacement

On Wednesday they announced that they will be replacing him on a full time basis with James Buckland, a promising young coach who has played for Leicester Tigers, Wasps and London Irish.

France and Wasps legend Serge Betsen will become Defence coach, working with the squad for two sessions per week.

A new assistant forwards coach Jim Evans, the Harlequins Academy Coach, will work with the squad on line-outs, whilst both the medical and strength and conditioning operations will be given more investment.

The squad is moving its training to daylight hours. This will result in less time pressure as training is currently concentrated into two evenings per week under portable lights.

Director of Rugby Simon Amor: "The positives of the new set-up are very clear: we'll have more time to spend with the players, working on their core skills, decision-making and general development.

And whilst we won't be a fully professional set-up, the decision shows the club's progress, ambitions and continual focus on development.”

"The training change also ties in nicely with our revamped coaching set-up and to get three such highly renowned coaches onboard, who are young in coaching years but offer us a huge amount of potential and knowledge, is a big boost for the club."

RFU Disciplinary hearing: Bristol Rugby and Plymouth Albion
For Details, See Under Plymouth Albion


Doncaster Knights v Jersey - Friday 19:45

Doncaster KnightsJersey RugbyDoncaster v Jersey
Friday 30th November
Castle Park
Kick Off 7:45pm

Live On Channelonline TV

BBC Radio Jersey

Doncaster Knights

Clive Griffiths has selected his first Knights team since his return to Castle Park for tonight’s vital clash with Jersey.

Both sides will be desperate to register a victory this weekend, knowing a win would lift them from the foot of the Championship table in an the biggest encounter of the season thus far.

Griffiths has named a largely unchanged side from the one that lost out to Nottingham last week, although one key adjustment sees new signing Connor Braid start at full back. The Canadian international has been thrust straight into the first fifteen following his arrival at the club earlier this week.

The Welsh governor hasn’t had a lot of time to implement the changes he will look to bring, but confidence is high of bouncing back from heavy defeat last week with a strong performance over our nearest positioned counterparts; Jersey.

Other changes see Chris Hallam preferred at scrum-half and Dante Mama once again demonstrated his versatility as he switches from full-back to centre. Jamie Lennard retains the ten jersey, whilst the back is wholly unchanged.

Jersey have several players returning to fitness as well as former Knights Steve Boden and Nicky Griffiths expected to feature. But belief in the Knights camp remains high with a new boss to impress and a sense of under achievement from a very talented group of players that will be hoping to lay on a feast of rugby for the home support.

Doncaster Knights
15 Connor Braid, 14 Dougie Flockhart, 13 Dante Mama, 12 James Tincknell
11 Tyson Lewis, 10 Jamie Lennard, 9 Chris Hallam,
1 Tom Davies, 2 Rhys Buckley, 3 Tomas Francis, 4 Matt Challinor (C)
5 Dominic Parsons, 6 Adam Kettle, 7 Jethro Rawling, 8 Chris Planchant

Replacements;
16 Ben Sowery, 17 Jack Bergmanas, 18 Brian McGovern, 19 Phil Hoy
20 David Bradford, 21 Louis Silver, 22 Tom Barrett

Jersey

Jersey Director of Rugby Ben Harvey brings in fresh faces at half-back and back-row as he seeks the winning formula for this crucial clash with Doncaster Knights.

Nicky GriffithsFly-half Mike Le Bourgeois, one of the form players for the Islanders this season until he was injured at Bristol three weeks ago, is back at number 10 and will be partnered by former Doncaster scrum-half Nicky Griffiths (left).

Flanker Kingsley Lang and number 8 Guy Thompson are back in the starting line-up after being rested for the encounter with Newcastle Falcons last weekend – the pair are joined in Jersey’s back-row by Paul Rodgers, a second-half replacement against the Falcons.

Two other replacements from the 3-24 loss to Newcastle, centre Dai Bishop and skipper Nathan Hannay in the engine room, complete the changes along with another ex-Knight, Steve Boden – the experienced hooker gets the nod in spite of an impressive showing by Dave Felton on Saturday.

Jersey’s bench features the 5:2 split of forwards and backs that Harvey has favoured for much of the campaign, with all seven replacements having been involved in the Newcastle game.

“There have been some difficult calls in selection,” admitted Harvey. “Some players really put their hands up against Newcastle, such as the starting props, and deserve another chance, but I’ve also got some players who’ve been in great form this season, such as Thompson and Le Bourgeois, who I wanted to get back into the side.

“I’m sure Doncaster will be motivated, with a new man-in-charge [Director of Rugby Clive Griffiths] and back in front of their home fans after a big defeat last weekend, but I can’t control that – I want my boys to focus on what they have to do, and if they perform to their collective ability then I’m confident we can achieve the result.”

Jersey
1 Richard Barrington 2 Steve Boden 3 Jon Brennan 4 Dave Markham
5 Nathan Hannay (capt) 6 Paul Rodgers 7 Kingsley Lang 8 Guy Thompson
9 Nicky Griffiths 10 Mike Le Bourgeois 11 Ed Dawson 12 Dai Bishop
13 Donovan Sanders 14 Ed Tellwright 15 Glenn Bryce

Replacements
16 Dave Felton 17 Sean McCarthy 18 James Gethings 19 James Voss
20 Fred Silcock 21 Dave McCormack 22 Barry Davies

What The Papers Say

Steve Hossack – The Star

New Doncaster Knights boss Clive Griffiths is expecting a much-improved showing in tonight’s crucial Championship against fellow strugglers Jersey at Castle Park.

The Welshman, who only had a minimal input in the build-up after only taking over on Monday, watched his new charges slump to a 52-7 defeat against Notttingham at Meadow Lane on Sunday.

We’ve put the game behind us and we’ve had a couple of good training sessions. Everyone is bouncing and all the players are aware of the magnitude of tonight’s game.

“It is going to take more than the time I’ve had to work with the players to turn things around and getting them to play how I want.

“What I want them to do tonight is to go out there and puff their chests out and get stuck in.”

Full Story www.thestar.co.uk

Doncaster Free Press

Returning coach Clive Griffiths is confident he can keep Doncaster Knights in the Championship.

Griffiths’ task is simple – ensure the Knights survive in the Championship this season.

And the message he gave in response to that was equally matter of fact – ‘the only way is up.’

He said: “From what I’ve seen so far there’s no reason why this team shouldn’t be climbing up the table.

“It’s my job to help them get off the bottom and stay in this division and I’m very confident that I’ll be able to do that.

“Once we get a few bodies out of the physio’s room and onto the training ground it will only be a matter of time before we’re heading in the right direction.

Full Story www.doncasterfreepress.co.uk

Jersey Evening Post

AS expected, Jersey’s director of rugby Ben Harvey has made sweeping changes to his starting line-up for tonight’s vital clash with Doncaster Knights.

‘There have been some difficult calls in selection,’ admitted Harvey. ‘Some players really put their hands up against Newcastle, such as the starting props, and deserve another chance, but I’ve also got some players who’ve been in great form this season, such as (Guy) Thompson and (Michael) Le Bourgeois, who I wanted to get back into the side.

Full Story www.thisisjersey.com

Other News

Doncaster Knights new Director of Professional Rugby, Clive Griffiths, has made his first signing in Canadian utility back Connor Braid.

Braid, who is currently in the starting outside-half position for Canada,lhaving linked up up with Griffiths on Canadian national duty.

Griffiths believes his new addition will bring a lot to the Knights attacking and defensive capabilities, starting on Friday night against Jersey.

“He is a strong player that can break defences with his powerful running, he takes the ball to the line very well and should bring a bit of extra go forward.

“Connor can play outside-half, centre, wing or full-back and he is also an accomplished kicker, both at goal and out of hand, his versatility is a huge bonus given our injuries.

BBC Jersey

Jersey director of rugby Ben Harvey says he would like to see the island host a Friday night Championship match.

The island side face Doncaster at Castle Park on Friday evening and have already played Leeds in a floodlit Friday fixture this season.

"I'd like a home game on a Friday night and I think people on the island would embrace it," Harvey told BBC Jersey."

Full Story www.bbc.co.uk


Newcastle v Plymouth Albion - Friday 20:00

Newcastle FalconsPlymouth AlbionNewcastle v Plymouth Albion
Friday 30th November
Kingston Park
Kick Off 8pm

BBC Newcastle     BBC Radio Devon

 

Newcastle

Newcastle Falcons make just one change as they aim to continue their unbeaten record tonight with Andrew Higgins replacing Ryan Shortland on the wing.

Promising youngster Scott Wilson comes in for Oliver Tomaszczyk on the bench, while Taiasina Tu’ifua, Rory Lawson and Suka Hufanga are also amongst the replacements after returning from international duty.

Ally Hogg continues to skipper the side in the absence of Will Welch, who is now in full training after a back injury.

Plymouth make the trip north on the back of a 21-8 defeat at home to Bristol last weekend and remain sixth in the table. Harbouring ambitions of a play-off berth come the end of the regular campaign, director of rugby Nat Saumi will be hoping his troops can give a good account of themselves on Tyneside.

Falcons boss Dean Richards is under no illusions about the task in hand, saying: “Plymouth are a very physical side, and they certainly play with a lot of physicality up front.

“We have to look at what we’re doing and analyse what we do week in and week out rather than focussing too much on what the opposition is doing.”

After returning from Jersey last Sunday where they snapped up a bonus-point triumph, it has been a quick a turnaround for the northeasterners.

Despite this, Richards insists his side are in tip-top shape for the visit of Albion.

He said: “The boys had a bit of a rest on Sunday on our flight back to Newcastle and we were back in training on Monday.

“The boys had a rest on Tuesday before getting back into it ahead of Friday’s game – we have had a good week’s training and we have just been looking at ways we can keep improving as a team.

“Even though the weather in Jersey wasn’t great, we scored some quality tries and we could be quite pleased with the way things went.”

Newcastle Falcons:
15 Alex Tait, 14 Luke Fielden, 13 Alex Crockett, 12 Jamie Helleur
11 Andrew Higgins, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Warren Fury
1 Grant Shiells, 2 Matt Thompson, 3 James Hall, 4 Sean Tomes
5 Scott MacLeod, 6 Chris York, 7 Mark Wilson, 8 Ally Hogg (c)

Replacements:
16 Michael Mayhew, 17 Scott Wilson, 18 James Goode, 19 Taiasina Tu’ifua
20 Rory Lawson, 21 Joel Hodgson, 22 Suka Hufanga

Plymouth Albion

Nat Saumi Nat Saumi makes seven changes to his side as they head to Newcastle aiming to upset the form book, with Sam Matavesi and Tom Cowan-Dickie making their first Championship starts

Matavesi will start at flanker and Tom Cowan-Dickie at hooker, with Canadian forwards Aaron Carpenter and Brett Beukeboom returning to the side following international duty, with Rhodri McAtee, Lewis Warner and Luke Cowan-Dickie also coming back in.

Brothers Luke and Tom Cowan-Dickie will be starting their first game alongside each other in Albion colours.

Sixth-placed Albion, who have not played at Newcastle since the 1991/92 season, have made seven changes to their team for the game at Kingston Park against the league leaders.

Among the players unavailable for Albion this week are captain Sean-Michael Stephen and centre Bevon Armitage, who miss their first league games of the season due to injury.

Albion
15 Rhodri McAtee 14 Lewis Warner 13 Toby Howley-Berridge 12 Keni Fisilau
11 Tom Bowen 10 Henry Slade 9 Ruiari Cushion
1 Luke Cowan-Dickie 2 Tom Cowan-Dickie 3 Lloyd Fairbrother 4 Brett Beukeboom
5 Harrison Tovey 6 Sam Hocking (capt) 7 Sam Matavesi 8 Aaron Carpenter

Replacements
16 Paul Roberts 17 Jack Arnott 18 David Morton 19 Ben Rogers
20 Jon Vickers 21 Ien Ascroft-Leigh 22 Rupeni Nasiga

What The Papers Say

Mark Smith, The Journal

Newcastle Falcons’ returning international contingent have only found their way onto the bench for this evening’s visit of Plymouth Albion.

Samoan Taiasina Tu’ifua, Tonga’s Suka Hufanga and Scotland’s Rory Lawson are all included among the replacements after their international exploits last weekend, while a tight hamstring for prop Oliver Tomaszczyk means a call-up to the bench for Scott Wilson.

Despite the Falcons being 13 points clear at the top of the Championship and sixth-placed Plymouth winning only half of their ten games, Richards said: “They are a hard, physical side who will be difficult to overcome.

“As always we will have looked at what they have to offer, but the main preparation is just on ourselves and on how we can improve every single week.

“We will wait and see what unfolds in front of us, and what the opposition bring to the table.

Full Story www.journallive.co.uk

Plymouth Herald

Plymouth Albion head coach Nat Saumi insists his team are not going to Kingston Park just to make up the numbers.

Nobody in the league has returned with so much as a bonus point from the north east this season.

But Saumi, whose side have won just once in their last seven league and cup games, says his team are more than happy to be the underdogs. "It is always good to go into a game as underdogs," said Saumi, who has made seven changes for the game.

He added: "But we are not going up there to make the numbers up.

Full Story www.thisisdevon.co.uk

Other News This Week

Western Morning News

Stupple & Sean-Michael Stephen extended their Albion contracts

Plymouth Albion have received a timely boost with news that club captain Sean-Michael Stephen and fellow back-row forward Herbie Stupple have extended their contracts at Brickfields.

Chairman Graham Stirling said: "This is really good news for Albion, particularly after the difficult financial circumstances experienced at the end of last year.

"This is the first time for many years that Plymouth Albion have made a decision so early in the season about the squad for the next season."

Full Story www.thisisdevon.co.uk

RFU Disciplinary hearing: Bristol Rugby and Plymouth Albion

Plymouth Albion and Bristol Rugby are to appear before an RFU Disciplinary Panel charged with conduct prejudicial to the interests of the Union or the game, contrary to Law 5.12, in the RFU Championship match between clubs at Brickfields on Saturday November 24.

The following citings from the same fixture will also be heard:

Jason Hobson of Bristol Rugby is charged with acts contrary to good sportsmanship, contrary to Law 10.4(m).

Jack Andrew of Plymouth Albion is charged with punching or striking, contrary to Law 10.4(a).

The hearing will take place at the Bristol Filton Holiday Inn on Tuesday December 4 at 7.30pm.

The Panel will comprise Richard Charles (chair), Dan White and Mike Curling.


Moseley v Rotherham Titans - Saturday 12:45

MoseleyRotherham Titans Moseley v Rotherham Titans
Saturday 1st December
Billesley Common
Kick Off 12:45pm

Moseley

Moseley entertain Rotherham at Billesley Common in the Birmingham side's last home league match in 2012.

Last season's matches between these two sides were both high-scoring affairs, with Rotherham achieving the double. At the present time Titans sit two places and ten points clear of their Midlands rivals in the Championship table.

Both sides will see this as a vitally important match after recent disappointing defeats. Moseley are looking for their first League win since the end of September, whilst Titans will also want to regain winning ways.

Moseley's back-line is unchanged from last week, but there are a few changes up front. Assistant Coach Dave Hilton was unequivocal about the performance of the forwards last week. "At times against Scottish we seemed to settle for second best", he said.

"This is not acceptable, and I expect the forwards to compete for the full eighty minutes tomorrow against possibly the biggest pack in the League".

Moseley
1.Ethan Waller; 2.Adam Caves; 3. Danny Herriott; 4.Addison Lockley
5. Thomas Hicks 6. Neil Mason; 7.Ben Pons; 8.Ben Pienaar
9. Samuel Brown; 10.Glynn Hughes; 11. Oliver Thomas
12.Charlie Hayter; 13 Greg King; 14. Simon Hunt; 15. Anthony Carter

Replacements:
16.Sam Wilkes; 17. Steffan Thorpe; 18. Chaz Meddick; 19.Nigel Burrows
20. Buster Lawrence; 21. Bradley Hunt; 22. Bradley Davies

Rotherham Titans

Rotherham Titans have made 4 changes ahead of this trip to Moseley

There is mixed news on the Titans injury front, with 2 players returning to action this week, but 2 players have also dropped out through injury. Mike Doneghan has injured his hand, whilst Shane Cahill has sustained a neck problem.

The only change across the Titans back line sees Pale Nonu return at inside centre. In the pack, Ross Davies comes back in at tight head prop, whilst there is a welcome return for Latu Makaafi and Rory pitman from long term injuries.

Makaafi returns to the side at blind side flanker, following a 10 week lay-off after sustaining a painful triple fracture of his collarbone during Titans match against Jersey in September. Rory Pitman starts at number 8 following his 6 weeks absence through fracturing his eye socket in the B&I Cup victory over Plymouth Albion.

There’s a bench spot for new-boy Harry Hannan, who joined the Titans from Leeds Carnegie this week. Hannan is 21 years-old, plays hooker and is a real prospect with much expected from the Yorkshire man.

The Moseley match sees Titans new Head Coach Alex Codling take charge for the first time and looking ahead to tomorrow’s game he said, “Moseley is always a difficult place to go and I’ve got a lot of time for the coaches down there and what they are trying to achieve. We will have to be super-disciplined and look to put things right which were a problem against Leeds last week.

“We were disappointed that we didn’t control the ball better in the second half and there were errors made which we have looked at this week in training.”

Titans:
15 Fergus Mulchrone, 14 Peter Homan, 13 Garry Law (Capt.), 12 Pale Nonu
11 Eamonn Sheridan, 10 James McKinney, 9 Charlie Mulchrone
1 Marshall Gadd, 2 Ted Stagg, 3 Ross Davies, 4 Toby Freeman
5 Dan Sanderson, 6 Latu Makaafi, 7 Carl Kirwan, 8 Rory Pitman.

Replacements:
16 Harry Hannan, 17 Gareth Denman, 18 Jamie Kilbane, 19 Nile Dacres
20 Alex Rieder, 21 Joel Gill, 22 Ed Styles.

What The Papers Say

Brian Dick, Birmingham Post

Dan ‘The Bin Man’ Sanderson makes a first return to Billesley Common this weekend desperate to show Moseley what they missed but also conscious of the fact he is once again walking a disciplinary tightrope.

Last year Sanderson spent an underwhelming season at Mose before opting to move to Rotherham in the summer to sample the dubious pleasures of Andre Bester’s unique management style.

The giant second row couldn’t be happier with that decision and believes he has thrived in Bester’s spartan regime, which includes 180 scrums on a Monday and shuttle runs to the point of nausea up the steps at Don Valley stadium.

The South African firebrand has recently departed Clifton Lane and Saturday’s visit to Birmingham will be the first in charge for new Titans head coach Alex Codling and Sanderson is almost certain to start.

Full Story www.birminghampost.net

Other News This Week

Birmingham Mail

Craig Voisey has spoken of his devastation that his second arm break of 2012 will cost him the next three months of Moseley’s increasingly testing season.

The tighthead prop, who has been one of Mose’s most important players this term, suffered the freak injury a quarter of the way through Saturday’s 23-18 defeat at London Scottish.

“I am not entirely sure how it happened but I fell on it awkwardly at Leeds a couple of weeks ago and then took a direct shot on Saturday,” Voisey recalled

“The doctors have said the chances of it happening were a million-to-one so I’m pretty down about it at the moment. It’s absolutely devastating.

If the injury is bad for Voisey, it is arguably worse for Moseley who, with the experienced Mike Powell and Neil Mason already out, are now missing key operators in the front, second and back rows.

Full Story www.birminghammail.co.uk


Cornish Pirates v Nottingham - Sunday 14:00

Pirates TV

Cornish Pirates v Nottingham
Sunday 2nd December
Mennaye Field
Kick Off 2pm

Cornish Pirates

The Pirates have won six and drawn one of their last seven games played against Nottingham. Their last defeat was in February 2009, but they know that a truly stern test awaits them this weekend.

Martin Haag, a former Pirate and someone hugely respected in Cornwall, has clearly settled well into his new job as head coach at Nottingham.

Their recent 63-7 demolition of Bristol demanded attention and following a convincing 52-7 win at home to Doncaster Knights last Sunday, they are now second in the table behind Newcastle Falcons.

For the Pirates, Sunday will be a test of character and a game likely to show the team's true credentials. Be assured, they'll be up for it, and home advantage will hopefully count.

There have been two late withdrawals because of injury meaning that the original wing pairing of Grant Pointer and Matt Evans have been replaced by Ben Mercer and Tom Bedford.

New boy, flanker James Tyas, who signed for the Pirates this week on dual-registration with Bath Rugby, is named at blind-side flanker.

Cornish Pirates:
W. Davies, B.Mercer, T. Riley, J. Fatialofa, T. Bedford
K. Hallett, G. Cattle (capt)
L. McGlone, P. Burgess, J. Tyas, G. Johnson, D. Lyons
A. Paver, R. Elloway, P. Andrew.

Replacements:
P. Joyce, J. Yeandle, D. Barry, J. Buckle, T. Kessell, S. Hill, JJ Kilmartin.

Match Officials
Referee: Ross Campbell (RFU)
Assistants: Jonathan Healy & James Minards

Nottingham

DAVID Jackson will join Nottingham Rugby's elite 300 Club on Sunday. The 30-year-old  moves to full-back for the milestone game at The Mennaye.

His Green and White journey started 24 years ago as a minis player and he has gone on to star for Nottingham at every level.

Along the way he has set the record for league appearances for the 135-year-old club.

As the 14th Nottingham player to become a triple centurion, Jackson distinguishes himself as a modern-day great of the East Midlands club by joining the likes of former England internationals Gary Rees and Simon Hodgkinson in the select group.

Jackson is the first player in more than decade reach the milestone. The last to do so was Martin Freer who played his 354th and final game in April 2001.

Heading the list, with an appearance record that is unlikely to be beaten, is Bob Pruden, who featured 430 times for the club between 1949 and 1972.

Nottingham head coach Martin Haag, who is an authority on one club commitment having featured more than 300 times for Bath, said the landmark appearance is added incentive for Nottingham to register their first win over the Pirates since February 2009.

"In this day and age of professional rugby, to play 300 games for one club is a tremendous achievement," Haag said.

"In the past few weeks Jacko has played really well, he continues to uphold high standards and it's up to everyone this weekend to ensure we make it a winning milestone."

Jackson replaces Andrew Savage at full-back after the 25-year-old went down with a knee injury in training this week.

The re-shuffle of the back line sees winger Alex Lewington make his second start of the season for Nottingham, having starred with a try in his only outing to date against Plymouth last month.

Haag has recalled Michael Holford to the starting side ahead of Ryan Bower after the 30-year-old prop returned from his short-term loan with the Leicester Tigers this week.

Centre Andy Forsyth is poised to make his first appearance for the Green and Whites this season. The 22-year-old hasn't featured for Nottingham since being injured in last season's play-off draw with Bristol at the Memorial Stadium.

This season he has lined up for Leicester in the LV= Cup and featured in the Tigers' recent historic win over the touring Maori All Blacks at Welford Road.

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

Replacements:
16 Shaun Malton 17 Ryan Bower 18 Joe Quinn 19 Tom Calladine
20 Finlay Barnham 21 Joe Cobden 22 Andy Forsyth

What The Papers Say

Nottingham Post

David Jackson is already the most-capped league player in Nottingham Rugby history and will play his 300th match for the club at Cornish Pirates on Sunday.

He could also mark it with his 100th try, after scoring his 98th in the Green and Whites' 52-7 demolition of Doncaster Knights at Meadow Lane.

"It would be nice if I could get the two together, but I'm more focused on my performance and helping the team," he said.

"But first things first, we've got Pirates away and they are always strong at home.

"They have got a very good defensive record so we will have to be on our money to break them down."

Full Story www.thisisnottingham.co.uk

Other News

James Tyas has joined the Cornish pirates this week

Back-rower James TyasAged 21, the former Brighton College student has played for Scotland under 20s and also had spells last season with both Plymouth Albion and Moseley, making a combined total of 24 championship appearances.

James is the third player from Bath to be dual-registered this season with the Pirates, and it follows the unfortunate news that Adam Clayton has been released without making an appearance for the club.

Adam ClaytonAdam injured an anterior cruciate ligament in a knee at the Kinsale Sevens tournament in Ireland last year, and as the cartilage snapped he needed a complete reconstruction, from which he has sadly not recovered.

Commenting on James and Adam’s news, Cornish Pirates CEO Rod Coward said, “We are delighted with our developing relationship with Bath Rugby but the good news that James Tyas is joining the Pirates is tempered by the fact that Adam Clayton’s injury has proved to be far worse than we feared.

Adam and the Pirates medical team have done everything possible to get him back to match fitness and during his time here he has proved himself to be an excellent representative of the Club.

We share his disappointment and wish him every success in the future.”

Nottingham captain Brent Wilson has signed a two-year contract extension.

The flanker, 31, moved to Meadow Lane on an 18 month deal in November 2011 after five years and more than 100 games in the top flight with Newcastle. The new deal will see him remain at the club until the end of the 2014/15 season.

Wilson stepped up as skipper of the Green and Whites this season following the departure of long-serving captain Craig Hammond. He has thrived in the role, scoring six tries in 10 league games.

The former New Zealand sevens international said the dream of being the captain that leads Nottingham to the Premiership was a major factor in his decision to commit to the Green and Whites.

“I want to play my part in getting us there,” Wilson said.

“I’m really enjoying my rugby here, I’m at a good age, my family is settled and loves it here, so I see Nottingham as a place where I can play out my career.

“We are going in the right direction as a club and I believe we can push on to something special.”

Nottingham head coach Martin HaagNottingham head coach Martin Haag said Wilson’s decision to extend his stay is a major coup for the Green and Whites.

“I’m delighted that Brent has agreed to stay with us at Meadow Lane, he has done an outstanding job as both a player and leader for us this season,” Haag said.

“We are at a stage that we are looking at the continuity of this team and creating something to be proud of as a club. Brent is a big part of that.

“This is not a time to chop and change personnel, and he the sort of player that you want at the heart of a club.

“There is something big on the horizon for Nottingham and it is great that that Brent wants to be part of it.

“We have a long way to go yet, but with this signing, and more to come, we are building on the solid foundations that we have in place.

Nottingham Rugby chief executive Simon Beatham added: “Things are obviously going well at the moment and we as a club want to continue this development. Brent has been a key part of this and for us to secure Brent for the next two seasons puts a great marker down for our clearly stated ambition of getting Nottingham Rugby into the Premiership.

“Over the summer we said that we wanted to redefine our values as a club and we believe Brent epitomises these.

“These are exciting times for the club, with support, sponsorship and the team's position reaching new heights. Brent's signing is just latest step on our journey in getting Nottingham Rugby up into the Premiership.“


Leeds Carnegie v Bedford  - Sunday 15:00

Leeds CarnegieBedford BluesLeeds Carnegie v Bedford
Sunday 2nd December
Cross Green Otley
Kick Off 3pm

BBC Radio Leeds

Leeds Carnegie take this match on the road to Cross Green, the home of Otley RFC in picturesque Wharfedale, six miles from Ilkley and ten from Leeds.

Otley was also used as the nearby market town of Hotten in the EmmerdaleTV series

Otley Clubhouse Otley RFC Clubhouse Bar

Leeds Carnegie

Leeds Carnegie Head Coach Diccon Edwards has made just one enforced change to the side that defeated Rotherham last weekend for this Sunday's key clash with Bedford Blues at Otley.

Dan Hemingway has been ruled out for 12 weeks with a fractured knee cap so Matt Smith, who played the majority of last week's derby clash after replacing Hemingway, starts alongside Calum Green in the second row.

There are three changes on the bench with hooker Joe Graham returning from a hamstring strain to replace teenager Luke Cole whilst Ben Harris comes in for prop Lee Imiolek. Finally, Dominic Barrow, who has been on loan at Wharfedale returns as cover following Hemingway's injury.

Leeds Carnegie
15. Stevie McColl 14. Oli Goss 13. Josh Griffin 12. Fred Burdon
11. David Doherty 10. Joe Ford 9. James Doherty
1. Sam Lockwood 2. Phil Nilsen 3. Damien Tussac 4. Calum Green
5. Matt Smith 6. Richard Beck 7. Jacob Rowan (c) 8. Ryan Burrows

Replacements
16. Joe Graham 17. Ben Harris 18. Ben Hooper 19. Dominic Barrow
20. Rob Baldwin 21. Craig Hampson 22. Curtis Wilson

Bedford

Bedford Blues will be hoping to make it three wins in a row this weekend but know that they face a huge challenge in the form of Leeds on Sunday afternoon.

The Blues wouldn't have been expecting a fixture at Cross Green this season but with Headingley not quite ready for Championship rugby, a trip to the home of Otley is always welcome for players and fans alike.

Bedford have been dealt a serious injury blow after it was revealed that centre Henry Staff will be out of action for four months after rupturing his bicep during the game against Cornish Pirates last weekend. Staff joins Ollie Dodge (ankle), Ricky Reeves (back) and Tom Armes (back) on the casualty list at Goldington Road.

Looking ahead to the fixture, Blues forwards coach Martin Hynes said: "The lads put in a very good performance against the Pirates last weekend and we are going to need another impressive display if we are going to take anything off Leeds who have won their last three games.

"The lads have had an extra couple of days recovery this week and everyone has looked extremely sharp in training so there's no reason we cannot take something from the game if we stick to the game plan. Leeds have an impressive set of players and Diccon has them playing some really good rugby at the minute, so I think it could be a very good game."

Bedford
15. Mark Atkinson 14. James Stephenson 13. Brendan Burke 12. Ian Vass
11. Josh Bassett 10. Jake Sharp 9. Luke Baldwin
1. Darren Fearn 2. Neil Cochrane 3. Phil Boulton 4. Mike Howard
5. Ben Gulliver 6. Alex Rae 7. Sacha Harding (c) 8. Paul Tupai

Replacements:
16. Scott Spurling, 17. Ben Cooper, 18. Dan Seal, 19. Don Barrell
20. Darren Fox, 21. Darryl Veenendaal, 22. James Pritchard.

What The Papers Say

Michael Hann, Bedford Today

Bedford will be boosted by the return of captain James Pritchard for the Blues’ trip to face Leeds Carnegie at Cross Green on Sunday, writes Michael Hann.

On Pritchard’s return, Bedford director of rugby Mike Rayer said: “He is a quality player and he was in outstanding form prior to going off with Canada.

 “I have to say again the lads did a magnificent job last week so we will have to weigh up whether to parachute him in or introduce him off the bench.”

However there is some bad news as centre Henry Staff is set for a spell on the sidelines.

“We have lost Henry Staff for four months,” said Rayer. “Losing Staff is a huge blow, him and Brendan (Burke) have formed a really good partnership in the centre.”

Full Story www.bedfordtoday.co.uk

Other News

Yorkshire Post

In-form Leeds Carnegie must cope without their impressive flanker Dan Hemingway for three months after he underwent knee surgery.

The back-row has been in towering form for much of the season and been an integral part of their pack.

The ex-Leicester Tigers forward has had an operation to repair the damage but will be out of action for up to 12 weeks.

Hemingway endured the injury in a crunching tackle that resulted in Rotherham losing possession deep in their half and ended with Oli Goss scoring the opening try of the game.

Full Story www.yorkshirepost.co.uk