- Welsh connection for Exiles as the head into final
- Pirates and Exiles progress despite semi final second leg defeats
Photo: RFU Archive
There will be considerable interest in Wales, as well as in Newcastle, in the RFU Championship final – and not just because it features London Welsh, once home to many of the country’s greats in the 1970s.
Cornish Pirates have had strong cross-border links over the years, with former Wales flanker Kevin Moseley being the man who guided them to this level in the first place in 2003, while current boss Ian Davies hails from Llanelli and talisman and skipper Gavin Cattle, always the man for the big occasion, is a Bridgend man.
London Welsh, by their very nature, will always be associated with the Land of their Fathers, and in Head Coach Lyn Jones they have one of the most experienced operators to come out of the Principality.
The former Neath and Ospreys man has taken the Exiles to the verge of a first-ever Championship title and the possibility of promotion to the Premiership.
Both Cornish Pirates and London Welsh will contest the final despite the fact both sides lost their respective semi-final second-leg clashes.
The Exiles lost 24-17 to Bedford Blues at Old Deer Park but won 30-27 on aggregate thanks to their 13-3 first leg triumph.
The Pirates lost 29-18 to Bristol at the Memorial Stadium but a thumping 45-24 victory in their opening encounter ensured they also progressed to the two- legged final that will be staged May 23/30.
The sides have met on 17 occasions at this level, with Pirates boasting 10 wins to Welsh’s 7.
RFU Championship final 2011-12
Cornish Pirates v London Welsh, The Mennaye Field, Wednesday May 23, KO 1945.
London Welsh v Cornish Pirates, Kassam Stadium, Wednesday May 30, KO 1945.
Both matches are live on Sky Sports HD.