29 April, 2023
All the Latest News & Fixtures...
League / Cup
This Saturday will see the fifth placed Cornish Pirates play their last Championship league game of the season away to Richmond (ko 3pm).
Their hosts presently lie at the foot of the table having been leapfrogged last weekend by London Scottish who won 49-3 in their derby encounter played at the Richmond Athletic ground.
The Cornish Pirates should travel with confidence but will be aware also that Richmond can be dangerous opponents. Last season’s away game in the league was drawn 24-all, whilst at the Mennaye Field in September the Pirates only emerged narrow 21-14 winners. Richmond will also be scrapping with all their might to avoid relegation.
Selected at scrum half this weekend is Tom Kessell, who will be proudly making his 150th appearance for the Pirates. Him and his named halfback partner Harry Bazalgette are two changes in the backs from the starting line-up that ran out against Hartpury at home last Saturday. As for the forwards, Ben Grubb is named at number 8, with skipper Johns Stevens moving to open-side flanker, whilst lock Cory Teague steps back a row to this week slot in on the blindside berth. Steele Barker will now partner Will Britton in the second row, and Morgan Nelson is the chosen hooker.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s encounter, Cornish Pirates’ joint head coach Gavin Cattle has commented:
“As ever, we expect Richmond to be tricky opponents on their home ground, and especially so because they have so much to play for to give them any chance of not going down. They will inevitably bring a lot of emotion to the game because theirs is a proud club with a great history.
“The emotion is something we will have to match, and to put our best foot forward to get a result that will cement our fifth place in the league. When in ninth position at the turn of the year, our focus was to climb to into top half of the table by the season’s end, and with credit we have achieved that aim.”
With reference to Tom Kessell’s expected 150th appearance milestone, Gavin also said:
“Cornishman Tom is a very fine and experienced rugby player, who has strengths and qualities acquired during a long and proud career.
”We were obviously delighted to welcome him back to the club a couple of years back and to now reach the 150 games milestone is a great achievement.”
Tom Kessell (150)
John Stevens (C)