14 May, 2022
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League / Cup
Following their thrilling quarter-final success against Bedford Blues in the quarter-final of the Championship Cup, the Cornish Pirates travel to play Ealing Trailfinders away on Saturday (ko 3pm).
The two teams have faced each other twice already this season, the Pirates emerging narrow 15-12 winners at home in the league back in October but losing 44-24 at the Trailfinders Sports Club in March.
The Cornish Pirates team shows several changes in their starting line-up, including a number forced through injury, from the one that faced Bedford Blues last weekend. In the backs, Ruaridh Dawson is selected at scrum half, whilst in the pack there are first time starts for prop Olly Adkins, lock Steele Barker, and No. 8 Rusiate Tuima. Lewis Pearson is the named at blindside flanker, and fresh faces returning on the bench are Sam Rodman, Ed Scragg, and John Stevens.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s important contest, Cornish Pirates’ joint head coach Alan Paver has commented:
“Last week was a bit of an epic, and emerging winners after the extra 20 minutes we are now obviously happy to be at this latter semi-final stage of the competition.
“We are especially pleased that certain new faces have featured, with Steele Barker the perfect example – a shining light of a young man who has taken his opportunity. Will Gibson has also taken his chances, different combinations have been seen, plus guys coming back from injury have featured, including skipper Nicolas De Battista. Our vice-captain John Stevens is also once again available and will be buzzing for action off the bench.
“There are two or three experienced players unavailable, as can often be the case, and ‘yes’, bodies are weary, but our training has reflected that and it’s about getting the selected guys physically and mentally prepared to get to the game and give it all they’ve got. Then, if we can put together a genuine performance, it could hopefully be enough to get us through.”
Supporters unable to travel may wish to note that for a fee of £7 the fixture can be viewed live via www.247.tv/champsrugby – plus the usual full match coverage will be provided by BBC Radio Cornwall.
Finally, for further match day information look out for details on the Ealing Trailfinders website http://www.ealingtrailfinders.com/
Nico De Battista (C)