CORNISH Pirates play their first ever Premiership Rugby Cup game this evening when they host top-flight side Bath at the Mennaye Field (7.30pm), writes Phil Westren.
The Pirates have named five summer arrivals in their starting XV. The quartet comprises full-back Kyle Moyle, who has made a welcome return to the club from Gloucester, centre Matt McNab, fly-half Tom Pittman, lock Josh King – a late change for the injured Alex Everett – and prop Leftheri Zigiriadis.
As for the bench, five of the eight who featured in the pre-season friendlies versus Plymouth Albion will be ready to play their first competitive match for the Pirates.
They are hooker Rhys Williams, prop Fin Richardson, back rower Harry Dugmore, fly-half Iwan Jenkins and centre Ioan Evans.
Looking forward to tonight’s contest, Pirates’ joint head coach Gavin Cattle said: "It is great for us to have the opportunity to welcome an historic club such as Bath to the Mennaye Field, remembering too that it is many years since they would have last visited.
"We are also fully aware that it will be a test for our squad, but everyone is quite rightly looking forward to the challenge.
"From our perspective, at this starting stage of the season there will be playing combinations to learn more about, and it will be interesting to see our overall level of performance against such quality opposition.
"To their credit, all the lads have worked very hard during the summer, and for them, the supporters, and everyone involved it should be a great occasion.”
Andy Robinson, a new addition to the coaching set-up at Bath, will be leading the team for the opening rounds of the Premiership Rugby Cup, and he told the Bath club website: "This a great opportunity for the team to perform and some will get their first chance in a Bath shirt for this year.
"I've been down to Pirates a few times in other jobs and I know how tough it is going down there. The Cornish people support the game so well so it's an ideal start for us to play against a tough side.
"For all players, playing your first game of the season after training for so long and to get an opportunity to show what they've been doing on the training ground is really great for them."
Cornish Pirates: 15 Kyle Moyle, 14 Will Trewin, 13 Matt McNab, 12 Joe Elderkin, 11 Arthur Relton, 10 Tom Pittman, 9 Ruaridh Dawson; 1 Leftheri Zigiriadis, 2 Morgan Nelson, 3 Marlen Walker, 4 Josh King, 5 Will Britton, 6 John Stevens (captain), 7 Will Gibson, 8 Ben Grubb. Replacements: 16 Rhys Williams, 17 Fin Richardson, 18 Jack Andrew, 19 Steele Barker, 20 Harry Dugmore, 21 Alex Schwarz, 22 Iwan Jenkins, 23 Ioan Evans.
Referee: Hamish Grant.