A starting debut in the fly-half shirt awaits Exeter Chiefs’ and Fijian International Josh Matavesi on his old club ground at Camborne tomorrow afternoon against old foes Devon on the opening day of this season’s County Championship/Bill Beaumont Cup kick-off 3pm.
Cornwall have gone for an adventurous line-up with the young Matavesi forming a half-back partnership with Redruth’s Mark Richards who captains the side. Plenty of pace in the back-three with Adryan Winnan at full back and Rob Thirlby and Trelawny’s Army U.20 player-of-the-year for 2009 Wadebridge Camels’ Sean Hawkey on the wings. The mid-field sees former Mount’s Bay favourite Pale Nonu alongside Cornish All Black and last season’s county skipper Ryan Westren, who is of course also Trelawny’s Army current senior player-of- the- year.
Up front Cornwall field three England Counties Internationals in the Redruth trio of Darren Jacques, Owen Hambly and Peter Joyce, in the boiler house it’s the Launceston duo of Ben Hilton and Bryn Jenkins, whilst the All Blacks provide two of the back row with Sam Hocking and Tom Rawlings on the flanks with Redruth’s favourite Kiwi Mark Bright at No.8.
County sides are only allowed to field up to three non-eligible players for the England Counties squad.
Whilst having trained with the Cornwall squad earlier in the week the Cornish Pirates duo of Luke Collins and Greg Goodfellow are now sadly unavailable due the forthcoming British and Irish Cup Final against Munster on Sunday week.
Having won last season against Devon at Plymouth Albion’s Brickfield ground 33-25, the green and whites’ will be keen to turn the tables this time round with Plymouth Albion again providing the bulk of the squad.
Cornwall: A Winnan (Redruth), R Thirlby (Moseley), R Westren (Launceston), P Nonu (Camborne), S Hawkey (Wadebridge Camels), J Matavesi (Exeter Chiefs), M Richards (Redruth, capt); D Jacques (Redruth), O Hambly (Redruth), P Joyce (Redruth), B Hilton (Launceston), B Jenkins (Launceston), S Hocking (Launceston), T Rawlings (Launceston), M Bright (Redruth)
Replacements: J Salter (Launceston), A Morcom (Newquay Hornets), D Cook (Redruth), M Rawlings (Launceston), L Webb (Launceston), C Bonds (Redruth), J Murphy (Launceston)
Devon Squad: T Bedford (Exeter Chiefs), R Bright (Cornish Pirates), D Collier (Plymouth Albion), P Creek (Plymouth Albion), D Ewers (Exeter Chiefs), G Evans (Plymouth Albion), D Force (Teignmouth), K Fisilau (Plymouth Albion), T Kessell (Plymouth Albion), G Kingdom (Plymouth Albion), J Fleming (Exeter Chiefs), T Freeman (Exeter Chiefs), R Freestone (Plymouth Albion), S Kingsland (Exeter Chiefs), S Johns (Plymouth Albion), E Lewsey (Plymouth Albion), D McDonald (Plymouth Albion) B Moon (Exeter Chiefs) L Patterson (Launceston), D Porte (Plymouth Albion), M Ryan (Exmouth), J Tripcony (Plymouth Albion), S-M Stephen (Plymouth Albion) O Wickett (Bideford).