London Irish v Cornish Pirates Preview

By Phil Westren

Saturday 18th March 2017
Greene King IPA Championship Rd 19
Madejski Stadium
Kick Off 2pm

Defeated away to Jersey in the quarter-final of the British & Irish Cup, for the Cornish Pirates their full focus for the remainder of this season turns to the Greene King IPA Championship, starting this Saturday with another tough challenge away to unbeaten London Irish (ko 2pm).

Providing increased atmosphere at the Madejski Stadium, the home side will also be holding their traditional St. Patrick’s Party, and during a month when both St. Piran’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day are celebrated it is perhaps wholly appropriate that the two sides should meet in such a Celtic clash.

Saturday’s teams have already faced each other three times this season, with the exiles side emerging victorious on each occasion. The Pirates went down 35-24 at home in the league, whilst in the Cup they lost 33-24 away and then narrowly 17-16 at home.

For this weekend’s encounter the Pirates have made a number of changes from the side that played Jersey away in the Cup, including a return for fit again skipper Chris Morgan. ‘Morgs’ will partner Brett Beukeboom in the second-row, replacing Jake Parker who is selected at blind-side flanker. Paul Andrew starts at tight-head prop and named in the ‘7’ shirt is Dan Lee. In the backs Alex Dancer will form a midfield pairing playing alongside Nicolas De Battista.

The Cornish Pirates full selection is as follows:-

Cornish Pirates: 15 Toby May, 14 Alex O’Meara, 13 Alex Dancer, 12 Nicolas De Battista, 11 Kyle Moyle, 10 Will Cargill, 9 Alex Day; 1 Marlen Walker, 2 Jack Innard, 3 Paul Andrew, 4 Chris Morgan (c), 5 Brett Beukeboom, 6 Jake Parker, 7 Dan Lee, 8 Tom Duncan.     

Replacements:  16 Jack Andrew, 17 Luke Chapman, 18 John Stevens, 19 Bar Bartlett, 20 Mike Pope, 21 Laurence May, 22 Jack Arnott.

Will spoke to Nick George for a preview tomorrow's crucial encounter which you can hear below.