Cornwall look to retain Tamar Cup

Corwall Team Building 230215
Photo – Cornwall’s new skipper Kyle Marriott

CORNWALL go into Tuesday evening’s Tamar Cup game looking to retain the Cup for a fourth successive year whilst more importantly looking for a good win going into a challenging Bill Beaumont campaign, writes Bill Hooper.

Stern tests await Cornwall captain Kyle Marriott and his squad as they face two difficult away hurdles in Gloucestershire and Kent before receiving Hertfordshire at Redruth in their final pool game.

Marriott, who has enjoyed a very fine season at Redruth since going to the Reds from the Cornish Pirates last summer, is well known to Cornwall coach Graham Dawe from his time at Plymouth Albion and it was evident from conversations with the county coach that Marriott figured highly as a potential Cornwall captain for this season.

However, Marriott will miss Tuesday night’s game at his former club due to other commitments but will be back at the helm for the trip to Cinderford.

The whole of Cornwall will be hoping that for the third year running the Black & Golds can again get to Twickenham and finally lift the Cup.

However, they first need to retain the Tamar Cup against their near rivals at Plymouth Albion’s Brickfields Stadium on Tuesday evening.

The coaches Dawe and Ian Morgan along with the county selectors have picked an interesting side.

There are first caps for Saltash’s Max Veneables, Cornish All Blacks Chris Judge and the Redruth duo of Tommy Phillips and Robin Wedlake.

Photo – Tommy Phillips who is set to earn his first senior county cap

Prop Tommy Phillips has enjoyed a great season with the Reds culminating in selection for England Counties Under 20 tour to Hungary, whilst Chris Judge has also been a revelation in the Launceston front row this season.

Robin Wedlake has shown tremendous skill and pace for the Reds and this young back certainly has a promising future.

Veneables has shown prodigious kicking form in Saltash’s promotion run from the Cornwall & Devon League this season into Western Counties West, there is much more to his game than just his boot.

Corwall County Championship Squad 26/02/14
Photo – Launceston’s Matt Shepherd who will start on the wing Tuesday night

Looking to earn their first Cornwall cap from an enlarged bench are Mark Grubb (Wadebridge Camels), Billy Searle (Cornish All Blacks) and Taron Peacock (Camborne).

Speaking of the Tamar Cup game Cornwall coach Graham Dawe said: “This game is crucial to allow us to observe players in the County shirt and how they perform under that additional pressure. We have away games against Gloucestershire and then Kent, before our only home game this season game against Hertfordshire on Saturday 23rd May and there will certainly be pressure on everyone involved with this squad.” He went on to say: “Places for those three games are up for grabs and players who perform well in training and for their clubs games are in mix for selection.”

TAMAR CUP side originally picked to play DEVON

CORNWALL: M Veneables (Saltash), M Shepherd (Cornish All Blacks), J Murphy (Cornish All Blacks), N Webber (Redruth), R Wedlake (Redruth), L Webb (Taunton), R Friend (Cornish All Blacks); T Phillips (Redruth), R Freestone (Clifton), C Judge (Cornish All Blacks), D Cook (Redruth), B Hilton (Cornish All Blacks), J Goldsworthy (Camborne), G Jones (Penryn), BJ Chapman (Cornish All Blacks)

Replacements: J Drew (Redruth), R Brown (Redruth), J Salter (Cornish All Blacks), C Williams (Redruth), C Fuca (Redruth), M Grubb (Wadebridge Camels), D Mankee (Camborne), B Searle (Cornish All Blacks), T Peacock (Camborne)

NDLR – Team updated Sunday morning. Richard Friend (Cornish All Blacks) to start at scrum-half.

DEVON: T Goodman, M Crosscombe, T Maclean (all Brixham), L Paterson (Ivybridge), D Squire (Brixham), J Simmonds (Teignmouth), K Murphy (Brixham); R Morris (Brixham), D Avery (Newton Abbot) (Capt), N Halse (New Cross), M Gohl (Barnstaple), M Templeton, D Williams (Newton Abbot), R Parsons (Teignmouth), S Thomas (Brixham)

Replacements: J Petherbridge (Barnstaple), W Castleton (Newton Abbot), W Sowden (Teignmouth), L Maggs, C Bryce (both Brixham), B Hawley, G Savage (both Exmouth)

Posted in Bill's Blog

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