- First leg of the RFU Championship Final draws closer
- Dave Ewers replaces injured Chris Morgan for the Pirates
Photo: RFU Archive
A full house is expected at the Mennaye Field for the first leg of the RFU Championship Final, where Cornish Pirates will take on London Welsh.
It's the Pirates’ second consecutive final, having lost out last year to Worcester Warriors, but the Penzance outfit will be buoyed by the fact that they haven’t been beaten by the Exiles since 2010.
Indeed, the last three games that these two sides have played at the Mennaye have all ended in a Pirates victory, but the Exiles will be hoping to have something to take back for the second leg at the Kassam Stadium in Oxford next week.
Ahead of the game, the biggest team news comes from Cornwall, where flanker Chris Morgan’s broken arm keeps him out, with Dave Ewers taking the number six shirt in his stead.
The Pirates qualified for this year’s final after seeing off the league stage winners Bristol Rugby 63-53 on aggregate, while Welsh beat Bedford Blues 30-27 over the course of their two-legged semi.
Cornish Pirates: 15. R. Cook, 14. G. Pointer, 13. S. Hill, 12. A. Suniula, 11. D. Doherty, 10. C. Thomas, 9. G. Cattle (capt), 1. C. Rimmer, 2. D. Ward, 3. A. Paver, 4. L. McGlone, 5. I. Nimmo, 6. D. Ewers, 7. P. Burgess, 8. K. Marriott.
Replacements: 16. R. Storer, 17. R. Elloway, 18. R. Brits, 19. M. Smith, 20. B. Maidment, 21. T. Kessell, 22. M. Evans.
London Welsh: 15. A. Davies, 14. N. Scott, 13. J. Lewis, 12. H. Tonga’uiha, 11. J. Ajuwa, 10. Gordon Ross, 9. J. Moates, 1. B. Moss, 2. D. George, 3. J. Tideswell, 4. A. Brown, 5. M. Corker, 6. J. Mills (capt) 7. M. Denbee, 8. E. Jackson.
Replacements: 16. V. Ma’asi, 17. S. Pittman, 18. G. Bateman, 19. G. Johnson, 20. L. Beach, 21. R. Lewis, 22. S. Jewell.
Referee: Greg Garner (RFU) Assistants: Luke Pearce & Chris Sharp
Cornish Pirates' ticket office (01736-331961) is open until 5pm on Tuesday but will be closed on match day. Tickets can be purchased on-line at www.cornish-pirates.com until 10pm on Tuesday and they are also available from various Warrens bakers shops about the county.
It is expected that terrace tickets will be available to buy at the gate on Wednesday evening but because demand is likely to be high the strong advice is to purchase needs in advance.