CORNISH Pirates will be seeking to make it three Championship away wins on the bounce when they visit leaders ealing Trailfinders tomorrow (3pm), writes Phil Westren.
This first-versus-second game at the Trailfinders Sports Ground is a re-scheduled Round Seven affair, after the original fixture in mid-December was abandoned when Pirates’ replacement Ben Grubb was injured.
Changes in the Pirates line-up from the team that won 27-21 at Bedford Blues last weekend see Jacob Morris selected at loose-head prop in place of the unavailable Lefty Zigiriadis, Ruaridh Dawson named at scrum-halft to partner Tom Pittman, plus there is a return for skipper John Stevens in the back row.
Bruce Houston is declared fit again to take a place on the bench, as is stalwart prop Jack Andrew, who will be looking to make his 230th appearance for the club.
Pirates’ joint head coach Gavin Cattle, said: “Playing Ealing Trailfinders away is a massive challenge, as they are a very good team, and especially so when playing on their fast 4G surface.
“Like Coventry and Bedford Blues these past two weeks, I think their speed of ball play offers a big threat, so we’ll have to put in a big defensive effort once more.
“We will also need to improve and be better in attack and handle the pressure moments in the game if we are to achieve the aimed for result.
“Ultimately, as ever, we can only give it our best shot, as we always strive to do.”
Ealing have made five changes to the starting XV that beat Hartpury University at home last time out.
Reuben Bird-Tulloch makes his 50th run out in Green and White this weekend, alongside Billy Twelvetrees in the centres.
Props Will Goodrick-Clarke, and Biyi Alo returns to join Matt Cornish in the front row.
The second row is unchanged, with captain Barney Maddison pairing up with Bobby De Wee at lock.
Jordy Reid slots in at opensideflanker to join Rob Farrar and Will Montgomery in the back row.
Dan Lancaster starts at fly-half, with Craig Hampson returning at scrum-half, and the back three features Jonah Holmes, Tom Collins and Michael Dykes.
Ealing Trailfinders: Michael Dykes, Jonah Holmes, Reuben Bird-Tulloch, Billy Twelvetrees, Tom Collins, Dan Lancaster, Craig Hampson, Will Goodrick-Clarke, Matt Cornish, Biyi Alo, Bobby De Wee, Barney Maddison, Rob Farrar, Jordy Reid, Will Montgomery. Replacements: Mike Willemse, Kyle Whyte, Jimmy Roots, Danny Cutmore, Ollie Newman, Lloyd Williams, Dan O’Brien, James Cordy-Redden.
Cornish Pirates: Will Trewin, Robin Wedlake, Joe Jenkins, Joe Elderkin, Matt McNab, Tom Pittman, Ruaridh Dawson; Jacob Morris, Morgan Nelson, Fin Richardson, Will Britton, Steele Barker, Alex Everett, Johnn Stevens (capt), Hugh Bokenham. Replacements: Rhys Williams, Jack Andrew, Matt Johnson, Josh King, Will Gibson, Alex Schwarz, Bruce Houston, Frankie Nowell.