Having already qualified for the quarter-finals of this season's British & Irish Cup competition, following this weekend's final pool games the Cornish Pirates will know whether a sought after home tie has been achieved.
Top of Pool Six, the Pirates, who will play Ulster Ravens at Deramore Park on Friday evening (ko 7.30pm), are presently in a good position to achieve their aim, as they top the leader board rankings. However, they will also travel to Belfast knowing that a home quarter-final place is not yet guaranteed.
At the end of the pool stage the highest ranking club in each of the six pools shall be the pool winners, and together with the two best runners-up will all proceed to the quarter-finals. The rankings are determined in accordance with certain criteria, firstly relating to acquired competition points, and those teams ranked 1 – 4 will have home advantage. To view 'the present state of play', please visit www.cornish-pirates.com click on 'Rugby' and then 'British & Irish Cup Tables'.
The Cornish Pirates side to face Ulster Ravens shows several changes from the team that won 28-21 against Ayr at the Mennaye Field on Sunday. Matt Evans comes back into the side at full-back, and with Kieran Goss returning on the wing there is a move to scrum-half for Mike Pope. Changes in the forwards see Tom Duncan selected at No. 8 and Shane Cahill at tight-head prop, whilst two young members of the squad, forward Matt Bolwell and back Max Bodilly, who have recently had game time at Redruth after recovering from injury, are named on the bench.
Cornish Pirates: 15 Matt Evans, 14 Kieran Goss, 13 Tom Riley, 12 Alex Dancer, 11 Kyle Moyle, 10 Angus Sinclair, 9 Mike Pope; 1 Kieran Davies, 2 Aaron Carpenter (capt), 3 Shane Cahill, 4 Neale Patrick, 5 Will Graulich, 6 Jake Parker, 7 Joe Atkinson, 8 Tom Duncan.
Replacements: 16 Tom Channon, 17 Jack Andrew, 18 Darren Barry, 19 Matt Bolwell, 20 Tom Kessell, 21 Tom Hendrickson, 22 Max Bodilly.
The draw for the quarter-final matches is scheduled to take place on Monday 27th January, for circulation during that afternoon. It will be organised by the Committee and shall be made from the teams ranked 1 – 8. As mentioned previously, those teams ranked 1 – 4 will have home advantage.