Rugby Union preview for Saturday, September 24

Regional One South West

THE first Tamar derby of the season takes place at Polson Bridge tomorrow as Okehampton make the short trip down the A30 to take on Launceston (3pm).

The two clubs have built up quite the rivalry in recent years with both sides enjoying success, particularly on home soil.

Home advantage is with the All Blacks tomorrow and in a game that is set to attract a 700-plus crowd several of which will visit from West Devon, it could prove crucial.

Since 2017/18, the first season they were in the same division since the early 1990s, there have been eight clashes between the two with four wins apiece and a sole away victory for both.

Okehampton arrive with a win and a loss from their opening two games under the new coaching team of Richard Bolt and Matt Tichias.

Their first match at Old Centralians was rescheduled but since then have faced two of the sides expected to be in the top four at the end of the season in Brixham and Weston-super-Mare.

Oke beat Brixham 27-7 13 days ago before a narrow 22-10 defeat in Somerset last weekend.

Launceston have also had a tough start, losing on their travels at title favourites Camborne and then at Brixham last weekend (36-11), with a home win against Old Centralians (36-22) sandwiched in between.

Launceston joint head coaches Ian Goldsmith and Ryan Westren have made three changes from last Saturday both out of choice and necessity.

In the pack, prop Rhys Carpenter replaces Mitch Hawken who drops to the bench while Jake Crabb comes in at lock in place of unavailable flanker Joe Stansfield which means last weekend’s man of the match Ben Humber slots in at six.

Skipper Lloyd Duke finishes his four-match ban while George Bone also remains out injured.

In the backs, the elbow injury suffered by fly-half Glenn Coles at Brixham caused plenty of disruption, giving Westren and Goldsmith plenty to think about when picking the side.

They have replaced Coles with Corey Jenkinson, who replaced him from the bench last Saturday, but changed things around a bit.

Adam Collings and James Tucker will form the half-back partnership with Westren and Tom Sandercock in midfield.

Jack Statton is back on the right-wing while Jenkinson, normally a scrum-half is on the other side.

The influential Dan Pearce switches from the left wing to full-back where he has played several times in the past.

On the bench there are call-ups for back-rower Pete Bebbington and exciting winger Archie Dinnis.

Okehampton name flanker Dean Abrams in their starting 15 having left Launceston during the summer while the rest of the side has a familiar look to it, including an excellent half-back partnership of player/coach Rich Bolt and skipper and fly-half, Dan Fogerty.

Cornish All Blacks: Dan Pearce, Jack Statton, Tom Sandercock, Ryan Westren, Corey Jenkinson, James Tucker, Adam Collings; Alex Bartlett, Levent Bulut (capt), Rhys Carpenter, Jake Crabb, Leion Cole, Ben Humber, Charlie Tummon, Brandon Rowley. Replacements: Mitch Hawken, Pete Bebbington, Archie Dinnis.

Okehampton: Leon Horn, Cole Pengelly, Brandon Horn, Tom Powell, Kieran Lee, Dan Fogerty (capt), Richard Bolt; Tom White, Jake Shinn, Johnny King, Brad Curtis, Sonny Luxton, Karl Pearce, Dean Abrams, Tom McGrattan. Replacements: Nathan Tomkins, Saul Holliday, Gary Sizmur.

Counties One Western West

BUDE picked up their first win of the season last weekend as a superb second half performance saw off Penryn, and they will need more of the same if they are to test a Cullompton side that have started like a train.

Cully arrive in North Cornwall having scored 153 points in victories over Bideford, Penryn and Pirates Amateurs, and will fancy their chances of a fourth.

However Bude are a tough side to beat at Bencoolen Meadow having picked up a losing bonus point against unbeaten Kingsbridge on the opening day.

When the two sides met last season in the old Cornwall/Devon League, the Cornishmen won 21-15 on home soil with Cully powering to a 42-19 success in East Devon.

Bude are forced into more changes this week.

Kyle Speare has left for National League One outfit Plymouth Albion where he makes the bench for tomorrow’s trip to Cinderford, while lock Freddie Stevenson has gone to university and Finley Fry is ill.

However hooker Rory Mead comes into the starting 15 for his first appearance of the season in place of Martin George while there’s a new-look second row partnership of Shaun Andrew and Luke Dunkin.

Skipper Freddie Saxton is available again and comes in at number eight in place of Fry with Dec Smale and Fraser Priest either side at flanker.

In the backs, Charlie Watton is back and starts at fly-half which means Will Pharo goes back to outside-centre to form a midfield partnership with Ed Hilliam-Cooke.

Former skipper Olly Denford is switched to his natural full-back position for the first time this season with George Hodgson moving out to the left-wing.

Bude v Cullompton: Olly Denford, Luke Wilson, Will Pharo, Ed Hilliam-Cooke, George Hodgson, Charlie Watton, Olly Mounce; Fraser Martyn, Rory Mead, Chris Allin, Shaun Andrew, Luke Dunkin, Dec Smale, Fraser Priest, Freddie Saxton (capt). Replacements: Martin George, Will Kingdon, Steve Johns.

Cullompton: Josh Luxon, Zac May, Sean Strange, Jacob Unwin, Archie Stonemason, Jared Allen, Ryan Hill; Kev Davis, Alistair Hann, Tom Parker, Tom Bradner, Adam Jarrett, Dan Stevens, Sean Mardell, Josh Mammola (capt). Replacements: Ben Tucker: Thomas Bulmer, Will Tyers.

Counties Cornwall Three

WITH an odd number of teams in the division, in-form Launceston Castles have the weekend off, but Bude Seconds and Camelford are in action.

Bude have started with two defeats at St Just and Perranporth while Camelford have yet to play having forfeited their opening day clash at Perranporth and seen their last two postponed.

Camelford have an incredibly difficult task as they visit Camborne Seconds while Bude are also on their travels at Lankelly-Fowey.

Bude will hope for better availability as more than half of the first team so far were regulars in the second team last year.