Rugby Union preview for Saturday, September 3

By David Sillifant   |   Sports Reporter   |
Friday 2nd September 2022 8:52 pm
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Cornish All Blacks skipper Lloyd Duke misses the first four games of the season due to a ban.
Cornish All Blacks skipper Lloyd Duke misses the first four games of the season due to a ban. Picture: Post Series (Tindle )

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ALL eyes will be on The Recreation Ground in Camborne tomorrow as the new rugby union season gets underway.

Following the RFU restructure which has been designed to limit travelling times, ensure more local derbies and create end of season cup competitions, clubs have been placed in new divisions with new names.

Regional One South West

Launceston head down the A30 for the start of inaugural Regional One South West campaign looking to build on last year’s mid-table finish.

Regional One South West is at Tier Five – the same as the South West Premier where they played for the last couple of years – and will be part of a 12-team division that compromises five Devon clubs – Brixham, Devonport Services, Exmouth, Ivybridge, Okehampton as well as Somerset’s Weston-super-Mare and Chew Valley plus Drybrook, Lydney and Old Centralians, all from Gloucestershire.

Launceston’s task tomorrow will be different to the one they faced twice last term where each side won at home, although the All Blacks’ home victory in April doubled up as the Cornwall Cup semi-final, before they went on to beat St Austell in the final.

Launceston’s squad shows several changes from last season, while there are several absentees tomorrow, particularly in the pack.

Skipper Lloyd Duke starts a four-match league ban following his sending-off in the final game of last season while lock Tom Bottoms and flanker George Bone are both injured.

Prop Andy Knight is also a few weeks away from returning after suffering an injury during pre-season at Plymouth Albion.

However there have been recruits and resignings.

In the front row, Rhys Carpenter has rejoined the club, as has George Bone who played a couple of times towards the end of the season.

Forward Charlie Brown has joined from Tavistock but it’s the signing of Wadebridge Camels back-rower Ben Humber that is the eye-catching move, with Humber standing at well over 6ft and weighing 17 stone.

He starts at blindside-flanker tomorrow with Charlie Tummon the other side and Brandon Rowley behind.

Carpenter starts on the bench alongside Brown with Alex Bartlett chosen to play in the front-row alongside skipper for the day Levent ‘Fred’ Bulut and Mitch Hawken.

Jake Crabb and Leion Cole start in the second row.

The back-line is much the same as last year with just new one acquisition so far.

Scrum-half Corey Jenkinson will start at nine alongside Glenn Coles who has been given the pivotal fly-half role with James Tucker, who started at ten for much of the last season, starting at full-back.

The versatile Tom Sandercock lines up at centre alongside player/coach Ryan Westren while last year’s player of the year Dan Pearce will again do the kicking and be expected to weigh in with several tries.

Exciting teenager Jack Statton burst on to the scene towards the end of last season and is on the opposite side to Pearce.

Camborne have recruited heavily over the summer with a mix of youth and experience.

The Cherry and Whites have signed ex Cornish Pirates and Canadian international fly-half Matt Evans this week while their will be a new midfield partnership in the shape of Argentine centre Nico De Battista and Connor Gilbert.

De Battista has signed from the Pirates while Gilbert joins from neighbours Redruth.

Several youngsters have also joined with Jack Hazleton (lock) lining up in the second row alongside the experienced Chris Fuca who has joined as player/coach.

Jago Sheppard (blindside flanker) and scrum-half Jacob Chapple also both start on Saturday.

Camborne: Harry Larkins, Lachlan Surridge, Connor Gilbert, Nico De Battista, Jack Davis, Matt Evans, Jacob Chapple; Tommy-Lee Southworth, Ben Priddey, Declan Prowse, Chris Fuca, Jack Hazleton, Jago Sheppard, Jordan Nicholls, Jordon Rose. Replacements: Aden Brassington, Andrius Zacharovas, Liam Jolly.

Launceston: James Tucker, Jack Statton, Tom Sandercock, Ryan Westren, Dan Pearce, Glenn Coles, Corey Jenkinson; Alex Bartlett, Levent Bulut (capt), Mitch Hawken, Jake Crabb, Leion Cole, Ben Humber, Charlie Tummon, Brandon Rowley. Replacements: Rhys Carpenter, Charlie Brown, Archie Dinnis.

Counties One Western West

BUDE have a new consultant head coach in former England hooker Graham Dawe, and will need to ensure their Bencoolen Meadow home is fortress if they are to survive in a tough-looking Counties One Western West.

The new division is the top five of last year’s Cornwall/Devon League which Bude finished fourth in, plus the majority of the bottom half of the Western Counties (West) division from last season, meaning Bude will start amongst the favourites for the drop.

Player/coach Angus Hodges has departed and will leave a huge void on the field.

South Devon side Kingsbridge are tomorrow’s visitors (3pm) and finished seventh in Western Counties West with 14 wins from their 26 games.

The Blues will provide tough opposition, but with home games key, including three out of the first four in North Cornwall, Bude need early points on the board.

The division sees a split between clubs in Devon and Cornwall with Bude set to rack up close to 2000 miles on their travels with Kingsbridge, Tiverton, Wiveliscombe, Penryn, Bideford, Paignton, Falmouth all from last year’s Western Counties while Pirates Amateurs, Topsham, Cullompton and Plymstock Albion Oaks make up the division.

Bude have a new on-field captain in back-rower Fred Saxton who replaces Olly Denford after four seasons in charge.

Chris Allin takes over as club captain.

For tomorrow, Bude are missing a host of players due to injuries and cricket.

Key number eight Joe Wilson is out with a long-term knee injury while prop Simon Jeffery is yet to return from elbow surgery.

For tomorrow, former Cornwall winger Kyle Speare is out with a neck injury and Ed Cooke with a bad knee.

Prop Matt Williams and winger Jack Horwell are finishing off the cricket season while hooker Rory Mead is back from university but on holiday this week.

That means plenty of chances for the youngsters and those who impressed in the second team last season.

Bude v Kingsbridge: George Hodgson, Jordan Hill, Will Pharo, Olly Denford, Luke Wilson, Charlie Watton, Olly Mounce; Fraser Martyn, Jason Bolt, Chris Allin, Freddie Stevenson, Chris Hill, Dec Smale, Finley Fry, Fred Saxton (capt). Replacements: Martin George, Luke Dunkin, Brad Thomas.

Kingsbridge at Bude: George Banfield, Toby Baldry, Freddie Buckle, Joe Carey, Joe Banfield, Ben Newman, Sam Rhymes; Henry Rich, Buster James, Stuart Winzer, Dan Jarvis, James Palmer, James Trout, Jack Winzer, Stuart Harris. Replacements: Max Goodwin, Cameron Young, Dave Stephens.

Counties Three Cornwall

THREE Post area clubs are in action tomorrow on the opening day of the Counties Three Cornwall season.

While Camelford have been in the league for several years, for the first time ever second teams are being allowed in to the league structure with Bude and Launceston both part of it.

Launceston, known back to being known as Launceston Castles, host their Camborne counterparts at Polson Bridge, while Bude make their longest trip of the season down to St Just.

Both matches kick-off at 3pm.

Camelford are on the road to Perranporth while the other fixtures see Redruth Albany host Wadebridge Camels Reserves and St Agnes host Lankelly-Fowey.

With it being an 11-team division, Roseland have a bye.

Launceston Castles v Camborne 2: Mike Redden, Mark Knight, James Slater, Martin Kneebone (capt), Ben Palmer, Alec Maciver-Redwood, Ollie Tomkies; Walter Tucker, Nathan Ferrett, Simon Burden, James Norris, Tom Ware, Eli Horsfield, Harry Tomlin, Dom Theobald. Replacements: Josh Elias, Ben Greene, Jack Swain, Pete Bebbington, Matt Davey, Corey Sillifant.

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