By Phil Westren

Next up for the Cornish Pirates is a sixth versus fourth Round 18 fixture in the Championship away to Hartpury on Saturday (2.30pm).

Hartpury have to date acquired 43 points from 16 games, and the Pirates, who have a game in-hand, 51 from 15. 

A last league match meeting between the two sides was at the Mennaye Field just before Christmas, when the Pirates won a closely fought encounter, 14-7.

Changes in the Cornish Pirates starting line-up from last Friday sees Ruaridh Dawson selected this week at scrum-half and prop Lefty Zigiriadis returning at loose-head prop forward. 

Also, in the injured absence of Morgan Nelson (knee) and Rhys Williams (failed HIA), dual-registered Exeter Chiefs hooker Harry Hocking will make his first Championship start, whilst on the bench another ‘Chief’, Iestyn Harris, who has arrived at the Mennaye Field on-loan this week, will provide cover if called upon in the number 16 shirt.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s encounter, Cornish Pirates’ joint head coach Alan Paver has said:

“Hartpury away is a tricky place to go, and over the past few years they have been a formidable side who have given us a bloody nose on a couple of occasions.

“This means we understand the challenge ahead and so need to go up there to execute our game plan, having also learnt lessons from our past couple of outings.

“We will likely be evenly matched, and with fingers crossed that conditions will be more favourable than they were last week, the lads will give it their best shot.”

CORNISH PIRATES: 15 Kyle Moyle 14 Will Trewin 13 Ioan Evans 12 Joe Elderkin 11 Matt McNab 10 Bruce Houston 9 Ruaridh Dawson; 1 Lefty Zigiriadis 2 Harry Hocking 3 Matt Johnson 4 Will Britton 5 Steele Barker 6 Alex Everett 7 John Stevens (captain) 8 Hugh Bokenham. Replacements: 16 Iestyn Harris 17 Jacob Morris 18 Fin Richardson 19 Josh Williams 20 Will Gibson 21 Alex Schwarz 22 Tom Pittman 23 Arthur Relton.