Tom Spiers named Trelawny’s Army Under 20 Player of the Year

Flanker Tom Spiers (pictured above) has been named Trelawny’s Army Under 20 Player of the Year.

Tom enjoyed a stellar campaign with Cornwall Under 20s last season catching the eye in all three of Cornwall’s group games.

His hard work was rewarded being picked for the South West squad, sadly due to the lockdown he was unable to progress any further along the trial process for England Counties Under 20.

Tom who played last season for Truro RFC has recently taken up an opportunity with Championship side Ealing Trailfinders joining their Academy in conjunction with Brunel University in London.

Speaking of Tom Trailfinders Rugby Academy Head Coach Glen Townson said. “He is a very powerful back-rower who is an exciting addition to the programme. His ball carrying and also defensive work will stand him in good stead, and give him the platform to improve dramatically.”

The presentation of the Tony Mead Memorial Shield to Tom will take place when he is able to return to Cornwall.

Due to the lockdown and the cancellation of both the Bill Beaumont and Gill Burns Cup, there will be no presentations for 2020 for the Bill Osborne Shield (Senior Player) nor Jess Humber Shield (Women’s Player).

Posted in Bill's Blog

Cornwall to play Crawshay’s in 2022

Crawshay’s Welsh will be renewing their Cornish links when they return to the Duchy in 2022 as part of their centenary celebrations.

See CRFU link for more details

Posted in Bill's Blog

County Championships axed for 2020/21

As part of the cost cutting being implemented by the RFU in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic, the Bill Beaumont, Gill Burns and Jason Leonard Cups have been axed for the forthcoming season.

The RFU have stated that this is for one season only.

This news will naturally come as a great disappointment for all members of Trelawny’s Army, however it should be remembered that 139 staff at the RFU are set to lose their jobs as part of the cut-backs! A sobering thought.

The following announcement was made today by the Chairman of the CRFU, Dave Saunter.

Following the announcement from RFU CEO Bill Sweeney concerning cut backs envisaged by the RFU to get through the financial effects of the covid pandemic, CRFU Chairman Dave Saunter made the following comments;

“You will no doubt have heard the sad news that the aspirational pathway from the RFU has been cancelled for the 20/21 season. This means no Bill Beaumont Cup, Gill Burns Cup, Jason Leonard Cup or U18s divisional programme. It will also mean no England Counties rugby for any of the age groups.

“This was part of an announcement by Bill Sweeney RFU CEO which also included the loss of 139 jobs across the RFU, locally our own team of Jonny Stephenson, Phil Morris and Neil Smith are all under threat of redundancies. I’m sure like me you will be crossing fingers and toes, so that their jobs are saved, they are an integral part of our team and we hope the future is good for them.

“The County via the management board who are currently meeting via Microsoft teams every fortnight are already talking to our neighbours and other Counties about some sort of County rugby next year. You can be certain we will do all in our power to make sure we have the opportunity of watching the Black and Gold shirt at one of the County grounds.

“As an example of Management Board work, we are part way through a programme of having clubs tested for legionella within their water supply. Twenty-two clubs have taken us up on this at a cost of £3520, paid for by the RFU via the County.

“Whilst this is a hard time for all of us I would also like to thank all the clubs who were able to Support our NHS with their immunisation programme. All clubs who took part gave their venues for free, a great example of Cornish Rugby spirit.

“We now wait for when we can get back to pulling our boots on and hopefully the 2020/21 season can start. In the meantime stay safe and remember the County via the RFU does have finances to help.”

John Sumnall, CRFU President added, “The sad news that we are to lose the County Championship for a second year is only tempered by the latest news that there will be a loss of 139 jobs at the RFU together with a considerable remodelling of the organisation.

“Thankfully, Cornwall is determined to play some County Rugby at all levels in the coming season and planning has already begun.

The RFU have stated their continuing 3 aims are:

• Supporting the community game and our member clubs – which are the life blood of our game.  

• Maintaining our ability to compete and win in the performance arena.  

• Delivering on our purpose of enriching lives, introducing more people and more diversity to rugby union while developing the sport for future generations.

“We very much hope the County Championship, at all levels, will be part of this in seasons to come.”

County Treasurer, Andy Richards added. “Whilst it is obviously sad to be losing the revenue from two home fixtures, our thoughts should be with Jonny and his team, hopefully they will get through this second threat of redundancy in two years. I’m sure we will have some format of County rugby at the different levels during the season to come.”

Dave Saunter added. “If any club needs help please contact me on my mobile 07554010480.”

Dave Saunter

Chairman, CRFU Management Board.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Interview with Graham Dawe by the Rugby Journal

Good interview with Graham on the farm looking back over his remarkable rugby career.

Access article in the link

Posted in Bill's Blog

Terry Pryor – RIP

Trelawny’s Army were saddened to learn of the passing of former county captain Terry Pryor.

Pryor, who was a former school teacher at Redruth School, was one of the finest props Cornwall has produced.

Terry Pryor holding the ball.

He played for Cornwall 55 times, captaing the county during the 1977-78 season.

Redruth was his club and he captained them during their centenary season in 1975.

An England trialist and bench replacement, he did captain England B on their tour to Romania in 1978.

He played for the South West Counties at Exeter in 1975 against the Wallabies, and was a Barbarian.

Following his playing days Pryor went on to become a much respected coach, nuturing the talents of players such as Phil Vickery and Trevor Woodman.

Trelawny’s Army wishes to record it’s sincerest and deepest sympathies to family and friends.

Posted in Bill's Blog

RFU end season

The news we have all being dreading broke this morning. The RFU have ended the season below the Premiership.

This means, apart from the leagues, national and local cups, that the Bill Beaumont, Gill Burns and Jason Leonard Cup competitions are cancelled for 2020.

There will be no presentation this season at our AGM of the Bill Osborne or Jess Humber Shields, however as the Under 20s played their pool games we will be presenting the Tony Mead Shield to our Under 20 player of the year at our AGM in September.

Full statement from Bill Sweeney RFU CEO in the link

Posted in Bill's Blog

RFU suspends all rugby activity

Please read the statement from the RFU via the CRFU website

Posted in Bill's Blog

Super Cornwall roar into last eight


By Bill Hooper at Shaftesbury Park

A late try from skipper Aaron Simmonds gave Cornwall Under 20s a deserved win against fancied Gloucestershire Under 20s.

Mawgan Osborne (Pirates Ams) of Cornwall U20s charges towards the try-line. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo – 15/03/20, Cornwall U20s, Gloucestershire

Cornwall’s hearts were in their mouths as referee Julian Rainford at first appeared unsure of the grounding, happily for the Cornish lads his assistant saw the grounding. The win sees Cornwall top their group to earn a home quarter-final in two weeks time.

Whether that game goes ahead remains to be seen, for now the Cornwall squad can reflect on a job well done.

Cornwall got off to a cracking start, pressing in the Gloucestershire twenty-two, lock Steele Barker charged down an attempted clearance, gathered the ball before passing inside to fellow lock Mawgan Osborne who scored. Simmonds added the first of his four conversions.

The Gloucestershire boys, rattled, then conceded a penalty in front of the posts that Simmonds calmly popped over to stretch the lead.

Eventually the home side settled with their fly-half Tom Price getting them on the board with a penalty.

Toby Osborne (Pirates Ams) of Cornwall U20s runs in a try. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo – 15/03/20, Cornwall U20s, Gloucestershire U20s

A searing break from Charlie Levick set up Cornwall’s second try that led to the Osborne brother combining to send Toby over for another converted try.

Flanker Tom Spiers again caught the eye with his work at the breakdown turning ball over and dangerous with the ball in hand.

Gloucestershire were starting to get some momentum at scrum time, they pressurised the Cornwall line and from a 5-metre scrum their powerful No.8 Adam Hopkinson drove over for Price to convert.

Callum Looker (Cardiff Met Uni) of Cornwall U20s looks for support. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo – 15/03/20, Cornwall U20s, Gloucestershire U20s,

Cornwall will be disappointed in the manner they saw their lead disappear, attacking in the opposing twenty-two, a stray pass was hacked on by Gloucestershire’s Tim Andrew, the wing showed his speed hacking on again to win the race to the line, Price’s conversion tying the scores at half-time.

Cornwall started to use their bench, Mishka Fibbens and Joe Best came on putting in some big drives. 

Jack Wickam (Saltash) of Cornwall U20s is tackled byWill Goffey (Hartpury) of Gloucestershire U20s. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo

Spiers’ good work was temporarily halted when he appeared to be harshly sin-binned. Price took the chance to put his side ahead from the kicking-tee for the first time.

Under the cosh Cornwall conceded another try from a close-range scrum with Hopkinson once again the scorer, Price’s conversion giving Gloucestershire a 27-17 advantage with the clocking ticking down.

Prop Eliot Salt, who had a fine game, took a heavy knock that stunned him for several minutes, it gave Cornwall the chance to refocus.

Guy Brooks (Penryn) of Cornwall U20s is tackled by Sam Gregory (Cinderford) of Gloucestershire U20s. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo

Cornwall had to throw the dice, they piled on the pressure, Spiers was held up over the line, suddenly the home side saw yellow.

Following several concerted drives near the Gloucestershire line Cornwall got their lifeline thanks to Cameron Taylor, Simmonds calmly slotted the extras to make it game on once more.

Back came the Cornish lads, patience being their watchword, the calmly went through the phases that led up to Simmonds try, a dramatic comeback!

Cornwall players celebrate the try. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo – 15/03/20, Cornwall U20s, Gloucestershire U20s

It wasn’t over, Cornwall had to withstand a final Gloucestershire surge near their line, but when they knocked on Cornwall had their win.

After the final whistle Cornwall coach Richie Kevern was delighted with his side’s never say die attitude. “We showed some character out there today, to have made that good start and then find yourself ten points down nearing the end the lads could have cracked, but they showed a mature attitude, were patient and forced the errors from Gloucestershire, they earned that win the hard way.”

Cornwall U.20: Levick, Brooks, Simmonds (Capt), Plummer, Bullen, Tucker, Stacey; Looker, Oliver, Salt, Barker, M Osborne, T Osborne, Spiers, Wickham.

Replacements: Taylor, Fibbens, Bennett-Murray, Best, Stoddern, Murray, Clemo.

Cornwall scores: Tries. M Osborne, T Osborne, Taylor, Simmonds, Cons, Simmonds 4, Pen, Simmonds.          

Posted in Bill's Blog

Cornwall name side to face Gloucestershire


Cornwall Rugby Football Union (CRFU) Under 20 County Championship team, play their final fixture in the pool stage of the 2020 Jason Leonard Cup. The team play Gloucestershire away at Dings RFC with a 1430 kick off on Sunday 15th March.

CRFU President John Sumnall said “This is another must win game if Cornwall wish to progress in this year’s competition. The guys came back from the defeat against Devon to record a superb victory over Berkshire. This has given them a chance to progress, however the pool is very tight and a number of outcomes are still possible”

The game kicks off at 1430 at Dings RFC in Bristol and will be played on the astro-pitch surface.

Richard Kevern Backs Coach of Cornwall U20s. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo

Coach Rich Kevern said – “The guys performed well at a wet and windy Camborne but this will be another step up for these players. Gloucestershire are always tough opponents especially on their home turf but I know the guys will be up for the contest. A number of guys have performed well in both games and we are hopeful they will represent Cornwall at the South West trials in April.”

Cornwall has made one change to the starting line up with Callum Looker starting at loose head prop and James Lambourn going onto the bench. For the replacements the coaches have gone with a 4 / 3 split with Joe Best earning his first call up and Mishka Fibbens becoming a travelling reserve. For the backs Liam Stoddern makes his first appearance on the bench.

There is a late change at 14. with the coaches’ decision awaited.

Aaron Simmonds (Redruth) Captain of Cornwall U20s – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo

Cornwall Captain Aaron Simmonds said; – “We needed to produce a performance at our only home pool game and put behind us the game against Devon. The guys stuck to the game plan and played some good rugby although there are areas we still need to work on to continue that momentum”

Cornwall lost their first game 30-18 away to Devon before picking up a bonus point win against Berkshire, winning 42-7. Gloucestershire won away at Berkshire 24 – 30 before drawing away to Devon in their last pool game 29 -29. The pool standings at present have Devon and Gloucestershire both on 8 points, Cornwall are third with 5 points, and Berkshire are fourth on 1 point. Devon will travel to Berkshire on the same day as Gloucestershire host Cornwall. A win for Cornwall will see them earn another quarterfinal place in the competition, but a loss will be the end of the season for the team.

The Representative rugby chair Chris Lea said; -“It is testament to the players to bounce back after the Devon game but now need another performance to guarantee they remain in the top tier of the Jason Leonard Cup next season. There has been a number of months hard work put in not only by the players but the coaching, medical, backroom staff and the guys who provide the game analysis, multi-media and photographs to support the players and our thanks go to each and every one of them. ”

                             Gloucestershire U20 v Cornwall U20

Sunday 15 March @ Dings RFC 1430 kick off

Cornwall Squad 

  Travelling Reserves

Coaches – Rich Kevern + Tyler Gendall, assisted by Adam Kevern

Medical cover – Neville Curnow + Graham Ashton

Kit – Paul Hurrell, Colin Hatch

Posted in Bill's Blog

Army provide match balls for Under 20s

Trelawny’s Army Honorary Secretary Ian Gordan presents match balls to Cornwall Head Kitman Paul Hurrell. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo

Ian Gordon presented the match balls to the Cornwall under 20s on Sunday. Former county player Paul Hurrell took receipt of the balls.

Posted in Bill's Blog

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