RFU Championship News

November 9th

RFU Championship News 9th November


RFU Championship News Friday 9th November 2012

Round 9 Teams & Previews
Plus news and comment from around the clubs and what the papers say.

Friday 9 November 2012
Doncaster v Bedford 19:45
Newcastle v Nottingham 20:00 BBC Newcastle
Plymouth Albion v London Scottish 19:45

Sunday 11 November 2012
Bristol v Jersey 15:00 BBC Bristol - BBC Jersey
Cornish Pirates v Rotherham Titans 14:00 Live On Pirates TV
Leeds Carnegie v Moseley 15:00 BBC Leeds



RFU Championship Stats To Round 8

RFU Round 9 Preview

Doncaster v Bedford - Friday 19:45

Doncaster Knights Bedford Blues Doncaster Knights v Bedford
Friday 9 November
Castle Park
Kick Off 7:45pm

Doncaster Knights

Doncaster host Mike Rayer’s Bedford Blues at Castle Park tonight  in another critical match for Brett Davey’s troops.

The Blues tasted league defeat for just the second time last Saturday against league leaders Newcastle Falcons, and the Knights will be hoping to inflict another loss similar to last season’s overwhelming victory over Bedford.

The last time these two clubs met Doncaster ran out 33-12 victors in one of their best performances of 2011/12 and with confidence still high in the squad Knights will be looking to upset the standings and turn in a repeat result.

Brett DaveyBrett Davey has picked a slightly altered side to the one that lost out to Rotherham last weekend, as he hopes to take the battle upfront to a Bedford side renowned for the free running rugby.

Will Simpson is the only change to the Donny back division, returning to the starting fifteen at inside centre.

Meanwhile in the pack heavyweight prop Tomas Francis makes his first competitive start of the season after impressing from the bench on his return in last week’s derby. David Bradford is selected at openside flanker in place of the impressive Jethro Rawling, whilst Adam Kettle has recovered from injury to take his starting place.

Doncaster Knights
15 Jamie Lennard 14 Dougie Flockhart 13 Dante Mama 12 Will simpson
11 Tyson Lewis 10 Tom Luke 9 Chris Hallam
1 Tom Davies 2 Rhys Buckley 3 Tomas Francis 4 Matt Challinor ©
5 Dominic Parsons 6 Adam Kettle 7 David Bradford 8 Chris Planchant

16 Ben Sowery, 17 Brian McGovern, 18 Phil Hoy, 19 Sam Pailor,
20 Andy Boyde, 21 James Munro, 22 James Tincknell.


It’s been a tough couple of weeks for Bedford Blues but they are looking to bounce back from two Championship defeats in a row as they travel to Doncaster on Friday evening.

Having tasted defeat for the first time against Bristol a fortnight ago and then pushing table toppers Newcastle all the way last weekend, Bedford know that they will need to be at their best to take anything out of Friday’s encounter.

Trips to Castle Park are never easy Doncaster proved last season that they were no pushovers as they defeated the Blues on their home turf and then held Bedford to a draw at Goldington Road.

Bedford travel to Doncaster without captain and top points scorer James Pritchard who is away on international duty with Canada as well as Ben Ransom and Luke Baldwin who are with Saracens this week. Ollie Dodge is ruled out for several weeks with ligament damage, Chris Locke misses out due to a knee injury and James Stephenson is still missing with a minor toe problem.

Looking ahead to the Friday night clash, Blues coach Matt Volland said: “We aren’t taking anything for granted with Doncaster.

Their current position in the Championship is not a reflection on the squad that they have or the style of rugby that they play and I’m sure that they will pinpoint Friday’s game as one where they will desperately want to pick up some valuable league points.

“We’ve had two very tough games and the lads are all disappointed not to have taken anything from those fixtures. The game against Newcastle was physically demanding and with a short turnaround we have made the decision to freshen up the side accordingly.”

Bedford Blues
15. Mark Atkinson 14. Mark Kohler 13. Brendan Burke 12. Henry Staff
11. Josh Bassett 10. Jake Sharp 9. Darryl Veenendaal
1. Ricky Reeves 2. Scott Spurling 3. Dan Seal 4. Mike Howard
5. Alex Rae 6. Gregor Gillanders 7. Darren Fox 8. Paul Tupai

16. Neil Cochrane, 17. Darren Fearn, 18. Ben Cooper, 19. Ben Gulliver
20. Don Barrell, 21. Ali Price, 22. Ian Vass.

What The Papers Say

Yorkshire Post
Bottom of the Championship versus the team placed third in the league might be expected to be one of the easier scores to predict this weekend.

But hearteningly for Doncaster Knights, Bedford Blues have not got the greatest of recent histories in South Yorkshire.

Knights winger and conditioning coach Dougie Flockhart said: "Bedford like to play an open game and the fact that they can 
attack from anywhere on the pitch makes them a difficult side to play against.

"But we always seem to play well against them and we drew down there last season and beat them in the return at Castle Park."

Full Story www.yorkshirepost.co.uk

Steve Hossack, The Star
Doncaster Knights’ head coach Glen Kenworthy is hoping that history will repeat itself in tonight’s testing Championship clash against high-flying Bedford Blues at Castle Park.

“We’ve got a good track record against Bedford in recent years,” the New Zealander told The Star this week.

Bedford, who were second, have dropped a place to third after suffering back-to-back defeats, including a 29-20 home defeat against unbeaten leaders Newcastle last weekend in front of a bumper 4,000 crowd.

“We’ve identified some weaknesses in how they play, which we feel we can exploit, and we’ll do our best to put on a good performance, if not win the game,” said Kenworthy.

“They like playing rugby and we enjoy playing teams like that. Most teams tend to play it quite tight but they tend to try and play a more expansive game and they’ve got a good back line.

“We are really looking forward to it and hopefully it will be a good game.

Full Story www.thestar.co.uk

Kevin Affleck, Bedford On Sunday Sport
Mike Rayer acknowledges Bedford Blues will have to “dig deep” on Friday night as they bid to avoid a third straight defeat without their top points scorer and two of their match-winning backline.

 “We are going to have to dig deep and it's going to be backs to the wall at times but it's about grinding out results,” Rayer said. 

They will want to turn us over as we know each other pretty well. We’ve got to lift ourselves . We will freshen it up as the last two weeks has taken its toll mentally and physically. But we have got enough in stock to cope with that.”

Doncaster are rooted to the foot of the table and will be smarting after a derby defeat to Rotherham last weekend.

Bedford started the season with five wins and a draw, scoring an avalanche of points. Rayer does not feel they peaked too early and, in fact, believes the best is yet to come.

“We only train two or three nights a week so that means we are always playing catch up with the full-time sides,” Rayer said.

Full Story www.bedfordshire-news.co.uk

Bedford Today
The autumn internationals have had an effect on the Blues squad with captain James Pritchard being called up to play for Canada.

Luke Baldwin and Ben Ransom have returned to Saracens as a number of their players are on England duty, while injury means that winger James Stephenson again misses out.

Friday night’s opposition Doncaster have struggled so far this season and are languishing at the bottom of the table.

Nevertheless, Rayer is expecting a tough encounter with the Yorkshire side.

“It is always a tough place to go. We know each other fairly well and we have been at loggerheads with them for a while in this division,” he said.

“They will be desperate to get the points so they can start climbing up the table and we have got to take that on board.”

Full Story www.bedfordtoday.co.uk

Newcastle Falcons v Nottingham - Friday 20:00

Newcastle Falcons Nottingham Newcastle Falcons v Nottingham
Friday 9 November
Kingston Park
Kick Off 8pm

Live On BBC Radio Newcastle


Newcastle Falcons

Luke Fielden returns to the wing for tonight’s top of the table clash with Nottingham at Kingston Park, as Newcastle Falcons aim to make it nine wins out of nine in the RFU Championship.

The Falcons flyer, who has notched up four tries this campaign, replaces the injured Tom Catterick after five games out.

A try scorer in last week’s crucial 29-20 triumph over Bedford Blues, Catterick misses out through a knee injury.

Falcons boss Dean Richards has made one other change with hard-hitting centre Jamie Helleur getting the nod ahead of Alex Crockett.

Richards sticks with the same forward-line for the second week running with Will Welch (back), Carlo del Fava (hand) and James Hudson (hand) all still on the injury list.

New signing James Goode is amongst the replacements for the top versus second Friday night duel.

“Nottingham will be a tough examination for the lads, and we will certainly have to be at our very best to continue our winning run,” said Richards.

He added: “We’ve made a solid start to the season, but the pressure is starting to mount on the players to continue this run.

“We always knew that Bedford would be our toughest challenge of the season so far, and that proved to be the case last weekend.

“This week will be another big challenge for the lads to front up to.”

Friday night sees the return of former Falcons favourite Brent Wilson to Kingston Park, who skippers his new-look Nottingham outfit.

Admitting that he will have mixed emotions on being re-united with some familiar faces in the North East, Wilson told the Falcons official website: “It will be a strange experience for me to be getting changed in the away dressing room.

“I had some good times with the Falcons and I am very much looking forward to catching up with some old faces before and after the game”

Wilson was on the score sheet twice in the Green and Whites’ 63-7 demolition of Bristol last weekend to overtake Bedford into second place.

Now eight points adrift of their North East counterparts, Wilson is looking forward to leading his charges into battle.

“Things are going very well for the club, and we have had a good run of results of late,” said Kiwi Wilson.

He added: “The club is certainly going places and at the start of the season we targeted a play-off spot come the end of the campaign, so we are currently on course.”

Newcastle Falcons:
15 Alex Tait, 14 Luke Fielden, 13 Tane Tu’ipulotu, 12 Jamie Helleur
11 Ryan Shortland, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Rory Lawson
1 Jonny Golding, 2 Rob Vickers, 3 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 4 Sean Tomes
5 Scott MacLeod, 6 Mark Wilson, 7 Richard Mayhew, 8 Ally Hogg (c)

16 Matt Thompson, 17 James Hall, 18 James Goode, 19 Chris York
20 Warren Fury, 21 Joel Hodgson, 22 Alex Crockett


Nottingham flanker Tom Calladine will make his first RFU Championship start in the Green and Whites top of the table clash with Newcastle .

Tom Calaldine
The Mansfield-born and raised hardman has impressed as an impact player for the East Midland’s club this season, having come off the bench in all eight league matches. He stood out in Nottingham’s two British and Irish Cup matches as a starter in a largely experimental line-up.

Calladine, who spent the off-season playing for Linwood in New Zealand’s Canterbury Metropolitan Competition where he finished the club’s try scorer and voted best player, comes in at blind-side flanker ahead of Rupert Cooper.

The former young England international’s inclusion is one of three changes made to the Nottingham team that overpowered Bristol 63-7 on Sunday.

Hooker Shaun Malton, who has signed for Nottingham for the rest of the season after completing a short term contract with Premiership side London Irish, takes his place on the bench.

Centre Tim Streather has recovered from injury and is immediately ushered back into Martin Haag’s match day 22. Joe Cobden, however, manages to hold his starting spot having shone since Streather was sidelined early last month.

Nottingham backs coach Ben Johnston said Calladine’s energy and inclusion of Streather and Malton will be crucial for a Green and Whites side that have focused on being in peak condition for the toughest away trip in the Championship.

“This week has been a case of fine tuning and making sure everyone is fresh from Friday night because it has been a short turn around for us,” Johnston said.

As for the hype surrounding clash and the way in which Nottingham roared to second place in the league, Johnston said the enormity of the task has kept everyone grounded.

“It’s good that we have the toughest opposition in the league next because all the players realise the task ahead of them,” Johnston said.

“The performance was great but it will take a monumental effort to go away to Newcastle and come away with something.”

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

16 Shaun Malton 17 Matt Shields 18 Joe Quinn 19 Rupert Cooper
20 Finlay Barnham 21 Rory Lynn 22 Tim Streather.

What The Papers Say

Mark Smith, The Journal
Brent Wilson admits he will have mixed emotions tomorrow night when he leads Nottingham out against former club Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park.

The 31-year-old made more than a century of appearances during his five seasons in the Falcons’ back-row before returning to his native New Zealand, frustrated by a lack of game-time under previous head coach Alan Tait.

Now back in England and captaining Nottingham to second place in the Championship, Wilson said: “It will be weird being in the opposition team at Kingston Park but I have a lot of good memories from my time at Newcastle.

“Towards the end I was not starting as much and was hardly involved, so at Nottingham now I am just happy to be playing every week and having the chance to show what I can do.”

With Semore Kurdi now the Falcons’ owner and Tait long gone from the coaching team, Wilson added: “Semore seems like a good man and it was just bad timing with how things worked out for me.

Full Story www.journallive.co.uk

Other News

Mark Smith, The Journal
Newcastle Falcons have gone back to what they know, with Ospreys lock James Goode returning to the club until the end of the campaign.

The 30-year-old Welshman impressed on loan for the Falcons during last season’s relegation fight and, having not featured for his parent club in this season’s Rabodirect Pro 12, has decided to head north again.

Full Story www.journallive.co.uk

Mark Smith, The Journal
Falcons head coach Peter Russell is heartened by the fact that Newcastle Falcons remain on the international radar, despite dropping down a division.

With Rory Lawson in the Scotland picture, Suka Hufanga away with Tonga and Taiasina Tu’ifua in the Samoan squad, Russell said: “It is good to see that the international coaches are recognising how much talent there is, even at Championship level.

“They haven’t shut the door on guys like Rory for Scotland, and it is helping us because players know that by signing for Newcastle they are not putting themselves out of the reckoning for international honours.

With Lawson recalled by Scotland almost a year on from his last Test cap at the Rugby World Cup, Russell said: “Rory brings a huge amount of organisation and experience.

“He may not have the wheels of some players, but the head is still in perfect working order and you cannot manufacture that."

Full Story www.journallive.co.uk

SOUTH African hooker Shaun MaltonSouth African hooker Shaun Malton relishes the opportunity to test himself against RFU Championship leaders Newcastle after penning a deal with Nottingham.

The 22-year-old has agreed terms to stay at Meadow Lane for the rest of the season having completed a short term contract with Premiership side London Irish.

The former Sharks under-21 Currie Cup captain, and young Springbok and South African schoolboys representative made one substitute appearance for Exiles in the Premiership before moving to the East Midlands.

Malton has been brought straight into Nottingham’s match day 22 to travel to Kingston Park for the top of the table meeting tonight.

It is the sort of clash that the product of the highly-regarded Sharks Academy savours.

“It’s always best to play against the best,” Malton said.

“Games like this is how you get to see where you stand in the competition and see if your game is up to the standard.

“I’ve not seen a lot of Championship rugby but know it is forwards orientated which I like, getting in smashing it up and getting aggressive.

More On This Story  www.nottinghamrugby.co.uk


Plymouth Albion v London Scottish - Friday 19:45

Plymouth Albion London Scottish Plymouth Albion v London Scottish
Friday 9 November
Kick Off 7:45pm



Plymouth Albion

Harrison Tovey will make his first Championship start when Plymouth Albion host London Scottish tonight.

Tovey will line-up in the second-row as Albion make eight changes – six enforced - to their team that narrowly lost 16-14 at Jersey last week.

Also coming into the side are Rupeni Nasiga, David Morton, Ruairi Cushion, Keni Fisilau, Toby Howley-Berridge, Tom Bowen and Rhodri McAtee.

Fisilau, Albion’s record league appearance holder, will be making his first Championship start of the season.

Albion, who are without their Canadian internationals Aaron Carpenter and Brett Beukeboom and England Under-20 players Henry Slade, Jack Arnott and Luke Cowan-Dickie, are looking to re-find their winning formula after three Championship losses.

London Scottish, who lost twice at Brickfields last season, are also on a losing run. “It is a big game for both clubs,” said Albion head coach Nat Saumi.

Albion have a good record playing of a Friday evening at Brickfields and Saumi hopes that can continue.

Plymouth Albion
15 Rhodri McAtee 14 Toby Howley-Berridge 13 Keni  Fisilau 12 Bevon Armitage
11 Tom Bowen 10 Paul Roberts 9 Ruairi Cushion
1 David  Morton 2 Jon Vickers 3 Lloyd Fairbrother 4 Rupeni Nasiga
5 Harrison Tovey 6 Sam Hocking 7 Wayne Sprangle 8 Sean-Michael Stephen (capt)

16 Paul Rowley 17 Lewis Warner 18 Ben Rogers 19 Jack Andrew
20 Tom Cowan-Dickie 21 Len Ascroft-Leigh  22 Sam Matavesi

London Scottish

London Scottish make one change to the backline from the 14-37 defeat against Leeds last weekend, with James Love returning on the wing in place of Dave McCall.

Alex Karonias replaces Tyler Hotson in the second row. Lewis Calder makes his return to the replacements bench.

London Scottish
15 Jim Thompson 14 James Love 13 Oli Grove 12 PJ Gidlow
11 Gerard Mullen 10 Phil Godman 9 Richard Bolt
8 Ben Russell 7 Ben Lonergan 6 Chevvy Pennycook 5 Alex Karonias
4 Paul Spivey 3 Colin Quigley 2 Adam Kwasnicki 1 Mark Irish

16 Marcus Bloomberg 17 Alex Mackenzie 18 Josh Thomas Brown 19 Lewis Calder
20 James Stevenson 21 Andy Reay 22 Dave McCall

What The Papers Say

Sarah Raine, Plymouth Herald
Albion have suffered another blow in the build-up to tomorrow night's game against London Scottish with news that experienced utility back Paul Bailey has broken his hand.

Bailey, who has played centre, wing, full-back and fly-half for Albion this season, is now facing two months out of the game.

"He did it last week but he does not know how he did it.” Albion coach Nat Saumi told Herald Sport. "It is a big loss, but we have to get on with it.

"We are lucky we have Rhodri McAtee who can cover those roles Paul covered. Hopefully, Rhodri will stay fit for the time being."

Full Story www.thisisplymouth.co.uk

Other News

Sarah Raine, Plymouth Herald
Albion’s Rupeni Nasiga could have been playing for Fiji against England at a packed Twickenham tomorrow.

But instead he will be lining up at Brickfields tonight hoping to help Albion end a run of five successive defeats when the club entertain London Scottish.

Fiji did inquire about Nasiga's availability to play against England, but Albion coach and fellow Fijian Nat Saumi asked them to leave him out so that he could play in tonight's vital Championship clash.

Nasiga will be making only his third league start for Albion since his summer move to the club. "I have been training with Plymouth," he said. "And it is Plymouth first.

Full Story www.thisisplymouth.co.uk

Bristol v Jersey - Sunday 15:00

Bristol Rugby Jersey Rugby Bristol v Jersey
Sunday 11 November
Memorial Ground
Kick Off 3pm

BBC Radio Bristol
BBC Radio Jersey


Jason Hobson is included in the starting line-up for the first time this campaign as Bristol Rugby look to bounce back against Jersey on Sunday

The prop - who scooped the Club’s Player of the Year award last season - returns from a lengthy spell on the sidelines, providing a timely boost to Liam Middleton’s plans.

The Head Coach makes a total of eight changes from the side that went down to a 63-7 drubbing at the hands of Nottingham last Sunday.

George Watkins and Ben Mosses are named in the backline, while Adrian Jarvis makes his first competitive start for Bristol since joining in the summer.

Bruce Douglas and Mariano Sambucetti come into the front five in place of Gaston Cortes and Ben Glynn, while skipper Iain Grieve starts in the back-row.

Kyle Traynor (Scotland) and Alafoti Faosiliva (Samoa) are unavailable after being called up for international duty.

Middleton opts for a five forwards and two backs split on the bench, with Rhys Lawrence returning to the 22-man squad after a five-game absence.

Bristol Rugby
Jack Tovey; George Watkins, Luke Eves, Ben Mosses, Mike Tagicakibau
Adrian Jarvis, Ruki Tipuna; Bruce Douglas, Ross Johnston, Jason Hobson
Mariano Sambucetti, Roy Winters, Iain Grieve (c), Redford Pennycook, Mitch Eadie.

Rhys Lawrence, Mark Lilley, Wayne Thompson, Ben Glynn
James Merriman, James Grindal, Tristan Roberts.


Although injuries have been a given for Jersey thus far this season, in common with all Championship sides, the Islanders have had a settled squad in recent weeks. Ben Harvey’s men will hope to carry on their recent good form in Sunday’s game at Bristol.

Director of Rugby Harvey has made just two changes to his starting XV from the line-up who defeated Plymouth Albion last weekend, plus a positional switch and one new face on the bench.

At scrum-half Nicky Griffiths gets the nod over Brendan O’Brien, although Harvey admitted it had been a difficult decision to make.

Winger James Copsey, scorer of Jersey’s lone try in the 16-14 win over Albion, misses out with an ankle injury. Former Osprey and Welsh international Barry Davies comes into the side at full-back, with Glenn Bryce taking Copsey’s place on the wing.

Chris Levesley18-year-old Chris Levesley is the player called up to the replacements’ bench.

“James has scored two good tries in the past fortnight, so it will be a loss,” states Harvey.

“But others in the team need to step up and show that they can finish equally well.”

Harvey will be taking on the side where he began his senior playing career in the mid-1990s, while another member of the visiting party is centre Ashley Maggs. The Bristolian spent two years with his home-town club from 2006 but failed to win 1st XV selection and became one of Harvey’s first signings when he move to the Channel islands in 2008.

“Bristol have been one of the old guard of English rugby for decades and decades, but we will go there with confidence and aiming to keep up the momentum of recent weeks,” Harvey added.

After losing their first six Championship games, Jersey have been undefeated in their last four matches, including successive league victories that lifted the Islanders off the bottom of the table ahead of the ninth round of games this weekend.

1 Sean McCarthy 2 Steve Boden 3 James Gethings 4 Rob Anderson
5 Nathan Hannay (capt) 6 Paul Rodgers 7 Kingsley Lang 8 Guy Thompson
9 Nicky Griffiths 10 Mike Le Bourgeois 11 Ed Dawson
12 Ashley Maggs 13 Donovan Sanders 14 Glenn Bryce 15 Barry Davies

16 Dave Felton 17 Richard Barrington 18 Jon Brennan 19 James Voss
20 Dave Markham 21 Brendan O’Brien 22 Chris Levesley

What The Papers Say

Bristol Post
Our Nottingham nightmare must not happen again, says Bristol Rugby's Liam Middleton

Plenty of words will have been spoken – by chairman Chris Booy, head coach Middleton, players and supporters – between last weekend's 63-7 drubbing at Nottingham and 3pm on Sunday, when Bristol kick off against Jersey.

But only the actions that take place during the 80 minutes at the Memorial Stadium will count for anything – and Middleton has made it clear that anything approaching last weekend's shambles cannot happen again.

And the head coach has hinted at the need to eradicate an inherent problem – Sunday's nine-try defeat being depressingly similar to last season's collapse at Cornish Pirates and this season's 50-31 thrashing at Leeds.

Full Story www.thisisbristol.co.uk

Other News This Week

Bristol Post
Jack Tovey has dismissed rumours of divisions within the Bristol camp – and said the players want to offer an apology to their supporters this weekend in the form of a victory over Jersey.

Jack Tovey has dismissed any talk of unrest in the Bristol camp

Speculation has been rife among supporters this week, with some assuming that Bristol's coaches do not enjoy the full support of the players.

"Everyone really wants to give the fans almost an apology for the performance at the weekend, so we're really looking forward to Sunday.

Full Story www.thisisbristol.co.uk

Bristol Post
Under-Fire Bristol's hopes of throwing powerhouse back-rower Alafoti Faosiliva in for his planned club debut against Jersey this weekend have been thwarted after he was called up by Samoa.

Faosiliva has become the second Bristol player to be called up for international duty this weekend, after Scotland named prop Kyle Traynor on the bench for their match against New Zealand.

Former Toulon back-rower Faosiliva, 27, would have featured for Bristol against Jersey on Sunday had it not been for his call-up, as head coach Liam Middleton, unsurprisingly, plans to make changes to the team thrashed 63-7 at Nottingham.

"Unfortunately, Faosiliva has been called up by Samoa, which is a bit of a blow to us," said Middleton.

Full Story www.thisisbristol.co.uk

Cornish Pirates v Rotherham Titans - Sunday 14:00

Cornish Pirates Rotherham Titans Cornish Pirates v Rotherham Titans
Sunday 11 November
Mennaye Field
Kick Off 2pm

Watch It Live On Pirates TV

Cornish Pirates

Changes in the Pirates side from the team that drew 9-all away to Moseley last week, sees Wes Davies named at full-back, with Junior Fatialofa returning at centre to partner Tom Riley.

The Championship's leading try-scorer Matt Evans is on international duty with Canada this weekend and his place on the wing is taken by Ben Mercer who - after two appearances in the British & Irish Cup - will be making his first Championship appearance for the Pirates.

Gavin CattleGavin Cattle takes back the skipper's arm band, playing behind a pack where the return of tight-head prop Ben Prescott is the one change from the forwards unit that started at Billesley Common.

Cornish Pirates:
Wes Davies, Grant Pointer, Tom Riley, Junior Fatialofa, Ben Mercer
Aaron Penberthy, Gavin Cattle (capt)
Lauire McGlone, Phil Burgess, Ben Maidment, Gary Johnson David Lyons,
Ben Prescott, Rob Elloway, Ryan Storer.

Alan Paver, Daren Semmens, Peter Joyce, Darren Barry
Tom Kessell, Keiron Hallett, Alex Cheesman.

Match Officials
Referee: John Meredith (RFU)
Assistants: Shane Lewis & Chris Sharp

Rotherham Titans

Rotherham Titans travel to Penzance with a bare bones of a squad as they attempt to beat Cornish Pirates away for just the second time in their history;

In addition to the long list of injuries for the Titans, Pale Nonu will not travel with the squad after picking up a niggling foot injury. However, the Titans have added to their squad this week with the recruitment of Ed Taylor on a dual registered agreement from Worcester Warriors.

Nineteen years-old Taylor can cover both back row and second row slots and at 6' 3" and 16 stones, he’s sure to add a physical presence to the Titans pack.

Rotherham have made four changes for their tricky encounter into deepest Cornwall. Along the backline Joel Gill comes in for Pale Nonu, whilst in the forwards there is an entire front row change with Shane Cahill, Dan Baines and Ross Davies all returning to the starting line-up.

Titans acting Head Coach Lee Blackett said ahead of travelling, “We do have a lot of injuries right now and the worrying thing is some of them are long term injuries, although we are hopeful that for the Leeds game we will have James McKinney, Eamonn Sheridan and Pale Nonu back in contention.

“The injuries within the squad are testing the boys, but we came through it very well last week against Doncaster and I think we are mentally tough enough to get through it again this weekend.

“The club has brought Ed Taylor in this week; he came on a recommendation from Worcester. We’ve only seen Ed for two sessions this week and we’ve liked what we’ve seen so far. However, it’s all about what we see on game day and I’m sure he’ll see some action against the Pirates.

“Cornish Pirates away is always one of the toughest challenges of the season, but I think sometimes when you go there you can get mentally beaten before you get there. However, we are going down there with a different attitude. No one expects us to win the game other than ourselves and we are fully confident in achieving the result we believe we are capable of attaining.

“We’ve seen them on video and we’ve seen where we can break them down. We know they are a massively dangerous team down there and we will have to be at our 100% best to come away with the win, but I am fully confident the boys can do that.”

15 Fergus Mulchrone, 14 Peter Homan, 13 Lee Blackett, 12 Joel Gill
11 Mike Doneghan, 10 Garry Law (Capt.), 9 Charlie Mulchrone
1 Shane Cahill, 2 Dan Baines, 3 Ross Davies, 4 Toby Freeman
5 Dan Sanderson, 6 Alex Rieder, 7 Joe Ellyatt, 8 Carl Kirwan.

16 Ted Stagg, 17 Marshall Gadd, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 Nile Dacres
20 Ed Taylor, 21 Ed Styles, 22 Jimmy Williams.

What The Papers Say

Dick Straughan Western Morning News
After drawing at Moseley last time out, the Pirates return home, where only Newcastle Falcons have tasted success so far this season, to tackle a Titans side who have yet to win in Penzance.

Their last success in Cornwall came October 2008 when a 32-28 win at Camborne prompted furious public criticism of the team by then head coach Mark Hewitt.

The Pirates' head coach Ian Davies however is happy with the response from his squad this week in training after their frustration in the West Midlands on a day when the visitors wasted a host of good try-scoring opportunities.

"The mood after that game was certainly one of disappointment but we have worked on clarity and the fact that you only have to score one point more than the opposition to win," he said.

"Our defence is comfortable and we are very difficult to score against but we cannot simplify our game any more."

Full Story www.thisiscornwall.co.uk

Other News

Guy Williams, The Star
A Successor to Rotherham Titans’ former coach Andre Bester will not be appointed before Sunday’s Championship game at Cornish Pirates.

The club’s directors have spoken to several candidates this week and one is being interviewed today by the chairman of Rotherham, Nick Cragg, on his way down to Cornwall.

Titans are keen to appoint a coach with experience of coaching forwards which is why Alex Codling remains the favourite.

It now seems probable that Bester’s successor will be named sometime next week, but in the meantime, senior players, Lee Blackett and Michael Whitehead, continue to impress the directors with the way they have taken over team preparations.

Full Story www.thestar.co.uk

Paul Rickett, T’ Advertiser 
Caretaker coach Lee Blackett should be given the Rotherham Titans’ job on a permanent basis — that’s the view from inside the Clifton Lane camp.

Blackett took the reins last week, following the controversial departure of Andre Bester, while the Lane board ponder a replacement for the South African.

But co-coach Mike Whitehead believes the club don’t have to look far and that Blackett has the right credentials for the post.

Full Story www.rotherhamadvertiser.co.uk

Leeds Carnegie v Moseley - Sunday 15:00

Leeds CarnegieMoseleyLeeds Carnegie v Moseley
Sunday 11 November
Wharfeside Avenue, Wharfedale
Kick Off 3pm

Live On BBC Radio Leeds

Leeds Carnegie

Leeds Carnegie Head Coach Diccon Edwards has been forced into making one change to the side that defeated London Scottish last weekend for this Sunday's clash against Moseley at Wharfedale.

Second row Mike Myerscough has suffered a foot injury in training and is replaced in the starting line up by Dan Hemingway. Hemingway's spot on the bench is taken by Matt Smith.

The game will be particularly special for scrum half James Doherty, who spent four seasons at Wharfedale and captained the side before moving to Cornish Pirates, and Rob Baldwin, the number eight who captained Wharfedale until his move to Leeds Carnegie this season.

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. Joe Graham 3. Damien Tussac 4. Calum Green
5. Dan Hemingway 6. Richard Beck 7. Jacob Rowan (c) 8. Rob Baldwin

16. Phil Nilsen 17. Lee Imiolek 18. Ben Hooper 19. Matt Smith
20. Ryan Burrows 21. Craig Hampson 22. Curtis Wilson


Moseley travel back to Yorkshire for the second successive time in their last two away games, when they are matched with Leeds Carnegie in the beautiful Dales setting of Wharfedale Rugby Club.

Last week the Birmingham side entertained Cornish Pirates, and in a fairly tense and at times turgid affair the spoils were shared.

This was the first match this season in which either of the sides had failed to score a try, an aspect which disappointed Head Coach Kevin Maggs. “We are an attack-minded side”, he said, “and although we were pleased with our defence against Pirates, our failure to create chances last week was something that we have worked on”.

Maggs has made only one change to the side which started last week with Ollie Thomas returning on the wing at the expense of Anders Mogenson.

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

16.Sam Wilkes;17. Dave Hilton; 18. Tom Hicks; 19.Nigel Burrows
20. Ryan Glynn; 21.Greg King; 22. Brad Hunt

What The Papers Say

Nick Westby Yorkshire Post
Followers of Leeds Carnegie would be well within their rights to express concern that their rugby union club is treading water. Just look at the facts:

They are a long way off being the best team in a second tier that is being won at a canter by Newcastle Falcons.

Leeds are effectively out of a Cup competition that is by no means a great tournament to win, but their only chance of silverware this season.

The club is cash-strapped to the extent that they struggle to lure big names to the club any more.

They have sold their share in the Premiership to Exeter Chiefs, and although they got £5m for that, they have put that in a side vault to use when, and if, they ever get back into the top flight.

On top of all that, Leeds Carnegie are homeless, temporarily at least, as they embark on a gospel-spreading mission across the county that has coincided – unintentionally, the club insists – with a relaying of the pitch at their Headingley Carnegie base.

With all that to consider, it would be understandable if fans felt decidedly disenfranchised by the club at present.

Full Story www.yorkshirepost.co.uk

Other News & Strories

Leeds Carnegie number eight Rob Baldwin is sure that his new team will get a warm welcome from supporters in Wharfedale when the team play there this Sunday in their ‘One the Road’ fixture against Moseley.

Baldwin, who was captain of Wharfedale at the start of the season before joining Leeds Carnegie, says he has been contacted by many people in the area keen to get along to Sunday’s game.

He commented, “I am sure we will get a warm reception from everyone at Wharfedale. I have been up to the club this week doing some training with young kids and there is a real buzz around the place for the Moseley game."

Full Story www.leedscarnegie.com

Brian Dick Birmingham Post
There has been a lot of progress in the five years since Moseley and Gloucester were at the vanguard of the dual registration and player partnership movement.

Virtually all the clubs in the Premiership and Championship have now either established formal links, or at least identified preferred partners, and fortunately strops like the one that followed Ian Smith and Dean Ryan’s agreement in 2007 are now nonexistent.

Amid the general excitement at Billesley Common, where everyone was flushed by the prospect of Kingsholm’s most talented kiddies appearing in the Red and Black, slumped France international Ludovic Mercier and the latest gem nicked from Rugby League, Karl Pryce.

Both had been sent to Moseley to add a little glamour to the press call announcing the deal yet, as they sulked in moody isolation in the Billesley stand looking like they’d rather be having all their teeth removed without anaesthetic, it was clear the player-sharing concept had less than unanimous support.

Full Story /www.birminghampost.net