Cornish Pirates are ready to welcome Saracens for this seasons Championship opener.

This Saturday sees Saracens make the 293 mile trip to Cornwall to play their first league fixture since their relegation from the Premiership in 2020.

The belated Greene King IPA Championship game will get underway at 3pm.

Sarries are no stranger to a trip to the Mennaye Field in decades gone by, however their last visit came in 2003, a Powergen Cup contest which ended 30-20 in the London teams favour.

Joint head coach Alan Paver, who was man-of-the-match against Saracens at the Mennaye back in 2003, is looking forward to this weekend's encounter saying: "We obviously understand the task in hand but having said that have played certain other fine sides in the past and have done extremely well.

"It is important to take confidence from the fact that we have got a good solid workmanlike squad that also put in a fine performance last week against Jersey Reds who have traditionally been tough opponents.

"Yes, Saracens come with a badge of success, but there is also a need to understand that we are the Cornish Pirates and will live and die for our badge, therefore I am anticipating it to be extremely physical and exciting."

Following their single warm-up game at home to Jersey Reds, a couple of Pirates players have picked up injuries. Club captain Nicolas De Battista will miss the game – No. 8 Tom Duncan takes on the skipper role – and Callum Patterson is also unavailable.

New signing, Luke Scully, will make his full debut, with fellow new signing, Harry Bazalgette, looking to make an impact from the bench.

Meanwhile, Saracens director of rugby, Mark McCall has made two changes to his side that started in last Friday's pre-season fixture against Coventry,

Outside centre Duncan Taylor comes in for Dom Morris, while Rotimi Segun has been replaced with Sean Maitland.

Due to present Covid restrictions it will not be possible for supporters to attend the game. However, the match will be live streamed on a £10 pay per view basis. Visit for more information.

Cornish Pirates: 15 Maliq Holden, 14 Robin Wedlake, 13 Rory Parata, 12 Shae Tucker, 11 Alex O'Meara, 10 Luke Scully, 9 Jean-Baptist Bruzulier; 1 Marlen Walker, 2 Dan Frost, 3 Jay Tyack, 4 Fa'atiga Lemalu, 5 Danny Cutmore, 6 Josh Caulfield, 7 John Stevens, 8 Tom Duncan (captain).

Replacements: Jack Andrew, Tom Channon, Sam Rodman, Matt Bolwell, Antonio Kiri Kiri, Rhodri Davies, Harry Bazalgette, Tommy Wyatt.

Saracens: 15 Elliott Obatoyinbo, 14 Alex Lewington, 13 Duncan Taylor, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Manu Vunipola, 9 Aled Davies, 1 Richard Barrington, 2 Kapeli Pifeleti, 3 Vincent Koch, 4 Callum Hunter-Hill, 5 Tim Swinson, 6 Mike Rhodes, 7 Sean Reffell, 8 Jackson Wray (captain).

Replacements: Sam Crean, Eroni Mawi, Alec Clarey, Joel Kpoku, Andy Christie, Tom Whiteley, Dom Morris, Rotimi Segun.

Referee: Sara Cox (RFU)

Assistants: Clare Daniels & Adam Wookey Official 4: James Milliner-Woodcock