CORNISH Pirates understand the challenge facing them when they travel to play Exeter Chiefs in round two of the Premiership Rugby Cup tomorrow (3pm), writes Phil Westren.
The Devon side selected a strong team in round one last Saturday, who in the heat of September sun blasted away the challenge of a young and inexperienced Bristol Bears side. Indeed, the 75-0 scoreline speaks for itself, so the Pirates will be under no illusions other than to expect an understandably tough examination.
There are four changes in the Pirates' starting XV from the one that ran out against Bath at the Mennaye Field last Friday evening.
Centre Ioan Evans and fly-half Iwan Jenkins get starting roles after appearing off the bench, as does lock Steele Barker, who will partner Will Britton in the second row, Finally, fit-again Alex Everett is selected at blindside flanker, taking the place of skipper John Stevens, who moves to number 8.
Included among the replacements is new arrival Oli Burrows, a young hooker who has joined the Pirates ranks on loan from Exeter Chiefs, whilst dual registered utility back Dan John is also named and, given the chance, will be keen to make his first competitive match for the Cornish side against his ‘parent’ club
Pirates’ joint head coach Alan Paver commented: “We expect the Chiefs to pick another strong side this weekend, but from our perspective the aim has simply been to prepare well and go up there hopefully with a strong side, to then put our best foot forward.
“Naturally, we understand the challenge it leaves us to make sure we leave our mark and game on the pitch, and if that is achieved then I am sure we will have given a good account of ourselves.”
Cornish Pirates: Kyle Moyle, Will Trewin, Ioan Evans, Joe Elderkin, Arthur Relton, Iwan Jenkins, Ruaridh Dawson, Leftheri Zigiriadis, Morgan Nelson, Marlen Walker, Will Britton, Steele Barker, Alex Everett, Will Gibson, John Stevens (captain). Replacements: Oli Burrows, Fin Richardson, Jack Andrew, Josh King, Harry Dugmore, Alex Schwarz, Tom Pittman, Dan John.