Posted 30th May 2014

Following their final training session on Thursday evening, Cornwall have named their team to face Lancashire in the Final of the Bill Beaumont Cup / County Championship at Twickenham on Sunday (KO 12.15 pm).

The Cornwall team is as follows:

Cornwall: Kieron Lewitt (Cornish All Blacks RFC), Craig Williams (Redruth RFC), Lewis Vinnicombe (Redruth RFC), Ryan Westren (Cornish All Blacks RFC), Greg Goodfellow (Redruth RFC), Neilson Webber (Cornish All Blacks RFC), Tom Notman (Redruth RFC), Lewis Webb (Cornish All Blacks RFC); Darren Jacques (Truro RFC), Jamie Salter (Cornish All Blacks); Damien Cook (Redruth RFC), Ben Hilton (Captain; Cornish All Blacks RFC); Chris Fuca (Redruth RFC), Tom Rawlings (Cornish All Blacks RFC), Barry John Chapman (Cornish All Blacks RFC)

Replacements: Richard Brown (Redruth RFC), Jamal Ford-Robinson (Cambridge Union FC), Bryn Jenkins (Cornish All Blacks RFC), Tony Whittle (Famouth RFC), Steve Johns (Birmingham Solihull Bees), Sam Parsons (Redruth RFC), Matt Shepherd (St Austell RFC)

Reserves: Rupert Freestone (Clifton), Joel Matavesi (Camborne RFC)

The Lancashire team has been confirmed as:

Lancashire: 15 Sean Taylor (Preston Grasshoppers), 14 Warren Spragg (Fylde), 13 Chris Briers (Fylde), 12 Matt Riley (Sedgley Park), 11 Oli Brennand (Fylde), ​10 Chris Johnson (Fylde), 9 Ryan De la Harpe (Fylde), 1 Adam Lewis (Fylde), 2 Mark Rylance (Fylde), ​3 Ben Black (Sedgley Park), 4 Louis McGowan (Sedgley Park), 5 Gareth Gore (Fylde), 6 Gareth Rawlings (Longton), 7 Evan Stewart (Fylde), 8 Matt Lamprey (Sedgley Park)

Replacements: 16 Simon Griffiths (Fylde), 17 Peter Altham (Preston Grasshoppers), 18 David Fairbrother (Fleetwood), 19 Paul Arnold (Fylde), 20 Tom Burtonwood (Fylde), 21 Phil Baines (Preston Grasshoppers), 22 Steve Collins (Sedgley Park)


Preview of Cornwall v Lancashire, by Bill Hooper, TASC Press Officer

Posted 28th May 2014

Cornwall go into Sunday’s Bill Beaumont Cup Final knowing they will need to create a little bit of history if they are to lift the trophy.

The Black and Golds will be looking to be crowned for only the fourth time as County Champions following their successes in 1908, 1991 and 1999.

Squad training at Camborne on Tuesday

The Cornwall squad training at Camborne on Tuesday

But Lancashire, playing in a sixth consecutive final and seeking a twenty-third County Crown, will travel south in the knowledge that in three previous meetings with Cornwall in the final — in 1969, 1992 and last season — they have triumphed on each occasion.

Last year’s defeat 35-26 on a hot day at Twickenham saw Cornwall having to play catch up rugby for most of the game, despite taking an early lead via a Paul Thirlby penalty. Errors were to prove costly, as Lancashire capitalised with their swift backs to score tries through Ben Royle (2), Dominic Moon and Ben Rath. Each time Cornwall pulled a score back Lancashire scored again to keep their noses ahead.

Cornwall’s tries came from Nielson Webber, a penalty try, and Lewis Vinnicombe, with Thirlby adding a conversion and three penalties.

In the second half the momentum was with Cornwall as the pack took control, but it was sadly too tall an order to have to play catch-up rugby on such a hot day.

It was Lancashire fly-half Chris Johnson who controlled the game with his touch kicking and three conversions, two penalties and a drop-goal.

Now there’s another chance to add to Cornwall’s one major win over the red rose — in 1958 when Cornwall won a thrilling semi-final at Redruth 14-8.

The game was nip-and-tuck until a penalty from Harold Stevens and a try scored by Ken Abrahams gave Cornwall a six-point margin. Lancashire threw the kitchen sink at Cornwall in a bid to turn the tide, but they foundered on the Cornish defence and Cornwall went through to the final against Warwickshire, which they lost at Coventry 16-8.

Cornwall RFU President Kenny Plummer, a member of the side that lost to Lancashire in 1969, hopes Cornwall can turn the tables at long last. He said: “A superb advert for Cornish rugby, the boys played with heart and passion in front of a mainly Cornish crowd in Hertfordshire. Now we travel to Twickenham next weekend, where I want revenge. Revenge for the game I played and lost in, and revenge for our defeat last season, both against Lancashire. Boys, go and play your hearts out in one of the best stadiums in the world for rugby. Many dream of it, but few ever have the opportunity to play there”

Cornwall’s head coach Graham Dawe knows too well that the pressure will just continue to grow in the build up to Sunday’s game. He said: “This match was always going to be a real battle, and today the Cornish lads certainly earned their battle colours! Good defence, a strong forward pack, exciting backs, all contributed to the victory. Hertfordshire are a very strong team and we knew we must not only win, but dominate certain areas of play. We have some tired bodies now, but when you see the front row play the full 80 minutes, that’s what it means for them to play in this shirt. Now we work hard this week and prepare for the ultimate test against Lancashire. We will train before selecting the match day squad, which will be a real headache for us due to the quality and commitment of the squad who have played, and those who are on the fringes.”

Whilst Cornwall’s skipper Ben Hilton said: “We went to Hertfordshire with a game plan and stuck to it even though the weather changed so much prior and during the game. The guys knew what we had to do. It was not as high scoring or with as many tries as our previous games, but getting the win was the important factor and takes us to our second successive Twickenham appearance.” He further commented: “What can I say about the support, magnificent as always and thank you everyone who made the effort to attend today’s match. The crowd was just over 550 and I think 500 of them were wearing or cheering the black and gold, absolutely awesome. Now we need to get the rallying call going out all across the Duchy for next weekend. All roads lead to Twickenham where we face the team that beat us last year — Lancashire. It would be great if we could see that stadium turn black and gold.”

Chief Coach Graham Dawe giving instructions at the training session

Chief Coach Graham Dawe giving instructions at the training session

Speaking at the first training session held on Tuesday evening at Camborne RFC, assistant coach Ian Morgan, having had time to further reflect on the Hertfordshire game, summed up his feelings. He said: “We went up there to do a job and got it done. We knew we had to stop them playing and take the chances that came our way.

“I think we could have had further tries through our mauls but the referee had other ideas. At the end of the day we are pleased with the performance. A win on the road is always great. It may not have been pretty but hey! ho, we’d have taken 3-0!”

Defence was key to Cornwall’s success on the day. “That’s what we worked on last week. We knew that was the key to winning the game. Our forwards gave us the platform to set up our driving mauls, which killed Hertfordshire.”

Turning his thoughts towards Sunday and Lancashire, Morgan said. “We are not too bothered about last season’s result. The past is the pass, there will be no talk this week about revenge or anything like that. We will concentrate on this as our next game and formulate our game plan that we believe will win us the game. This is game number four. If we get our game plan right on the day then we will cause them problems.

“Lancashire have had some close calls in their games on the road to Twickenham. They scraped through against both Yorkshire and Cheshire. They have had a couple of close calls and will have to look at why that is.

“We have got some real selection issues this week, with everyone available and raring to go, but I wouldn’t expect too many changes going into Sunday.”

Cornwall will train Thursday this week at Camborne RFC.

Team news from both camps when announced.


By TASC Chairman Phil Trevarton

Posted 25th May 2014

It has come to my notice on listening to Radio Cornwall’s commentary on Saturday’s Herts v Cornwall match that a serious RTA occurred.

A Juggernaut driven down Hoe Lane at Ware yesterday by West Country farmer Graham Dawe (54) was in collision with 22 Hertfordshire Hedgehogs. None of the “Hedgehogs” were seriously hurt by Mr Dawe’s “Juggernaut”.

Cornwall has never had a lot of sympathy for “Green Hedgehogs” and they have universally been declared a “pest” in Cornwall. The event was witnessed by a number of Cornish visitors to the area on a “see how the other half lives” excursion run by Wheal Briton Coaches. If anyone wants to listen to the event it is available on line on Radio Cornwall’s “Listen Again Sport”.

Next week Mr Dawe’s juggernaut is thought to be visiting London to sort out a plague of “Red Roses” which have been growing rampant on Twickenham’s rugby pitch. The usual method of dealing with unwanted flowers would be a liberal dowsing of “Round-Up”. (Other brands of weed killer are available at the usual outlets.) But Mr Dawe is known to favour weeding by hand, using the favoured “pick and drive” method.

Tickets for this event are available at the usual outlets. Please don’t contact Tracey Wilson (formerly at Radio Cornwall) as she has “moved up Country”, or Gardeners’ World on Radio 4.


By Bill Hooper, TASC Press Officer

Posted 22nd May 2014

Cornwall travel to Hoe Lane, home of Hertford RFC, for Saturday’s winner-takes-all encounter with Hertfordshire, at stake a place in the final of the Bill Beaumont Cup on Sunday 1st June against, in all probability, holders Lancashire, who defeated Cornwall in the 2013 final.

Damien Cook in action in last season’s game against Herts

Damien Cook in action in last season’s game against Herts. Photo by Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo.

Both sides come into the match with identical records, having both secured try-scoring bonus points in their previous two encounters.

Hoe Lane has proved an unhappy hunting ground for Cornwall in recent seasons. However, Cornwall coach Ian Morgan knows how to win on the ground, as he kicked Cornwall’s winning points there in 2010 when Cornwall won 32-30 under the captaincy of Mark Richards.

Ryan Westren, Darren Jacques, Damien Cook, Ben Hilton, Tom Rawlings, Lewis Webb and Tom Notman are all survivors from that match day 22 — no lack of experience there then!

Cornwall coach Ian Morgan said: “The match against Gloucestershire was never going to be easy, with people’s expectations high after the previous week’s win over North Midlands. Everyone involved with the squad knew this was going to be a tough mountain to climb. Gloucestershire teams are renowned for their power and were out to avenge their defeat against Hertfordshire. The sun was lovely for the spectators but was really telling on the players and so we used our rolling substitutions and lots of hydration during the game. Everyone involved played with heart and pride to ensure a climax to the pool stage next week at Hertford RFC”.

Ian went on to say: “The game on Saturday will be as difficult as any we have faced this season, with Hertfordshire out to avenge the result of last season. They have a strong pack, fast backs, and on their home patch will be a real test for us. We will be working with our guys in training this week and travelling up on Friday night. We will travel with confidence in our abilities to get the job done.”

Changes there will have to be, with prop Jamal Ford-Robinson selected to play for England Counties U.20’s against Georgia U.20’s on his club home pitch at Volac Park, Cambridge, whilst back Lewis Vinnicombe is unavailable this Saturday and Lewis Paterson has been forced to rule himself out of the rest of Cornwall’s campaign for personal reasons. Rupert Freestone is still unavailable after picking up an injury in the North Midlands game, whilst Ben Priddey hasn’t recovered from the injury he sustained against Gloucestershire.

On the plus side, winger/utility back Rhodri McAtee is available this week following his trip to the Amsterdam 7’s tournament and he replaces Vinnicombe on the wing. Darren Jacques steps up from the bench to start at loose-head prop.

The bench sees the return of Richard Brown (Redruth) as hooker cover, with Jess Tompsett (Redruth) coming into the starting 22 as prop replacement for the first time in a Championship game. Sam Parsons completes a trio of new faces in the match day 22 from Redruth, as centre cover in place of Paterson, whilst Cornish All Blacks’ fly-half Jake Murphy completes the half-back cover with St. Austell’s Matt Shepherd who, along with lock Bryn Jenkins (Cornish All Blacks) and back row Tony Whittle (Falmouth), are on the bench for the third game running.

Youngsters Joel Matavesi, who was on the bench at Camborne last week, and Cornwall U.20 prop Tyler Gendall from St. Ives, are travelling reserves.

Cornwall Captain Ben Hilton was happy with his side’s performance against Gloucestershire. He said: “This game proved that we have an excellent squad and team ethos, with players wanting to pull on the jersey and win! There were some tired, bruised and battered bodies at the end of the game — these guys fought hard for the shirt today. But having those young people form a tunnel as we ran onto the pitch was awesome. Then their finals being played in front of such a crowd must have been a great rugby experience for them all”.

He further commented: “This was a massive game and the crowd gave Gloucestershire a real Cornish rugby welcome, vocal but fair. The people who come to support us are second to none; you just have to see the attendance figures elsewhere to know we are the best supported county in the competition, so a big thank you and it would be great to see so many of you at Hertford RFC next Saturday”.

Cornwall’s Number 8, Barrie-John Chapman, knows that the game on Saturday is going to be a massive test for both sides. “They (Herts) know we are not going to travel all that way and gift them the game. We want this and it’s going to come down to who wants it the most on the day, I know we will go there and give 110% and hopefully we can come away with the win.

It promises to be a titanic clash, with the winners earning the place in a Twickenham final. Cornwall, by virture of being the away side, will be underdogs at Hertford but that will be a position that will favour them. They have the heart and determination to succeed. As long as they keep their discipline and take the points on offer then I feel that they can win their place at another Twickenham showpiece final.


CORNWALL: 15. Kieron Lewitt (Cornish All Blacks), 14. Rhodri McAtee (Redruth), 13. Ryan Westren, 12 Nielson Webber (Both Cornish All Blacks), 11. Tom Notman (Redruth), 10. Lewis Webb (Cornish All Blacks), 9. Greg Goodfellow (Redruth), 1.Darren Jacques (Truro), 2.Jamie Salter (Cornish All Blacks), 3. Craig Williams (Reduth), 4. Ben Hilton (Cornish All Blacks, Capt), 5.Damien Cook, 6.Chris Fuca (Both Redruth), 7.Tom Rawlings, 8.Barrie Chapman (Both Cornish All Blacks)

Replacements: 16.Richard Brown (Redruth), 17. Jess Tompsett (Redruth), 18. Bryn Jenkins (Cornish All Blacks), 19. Tony Whittle (Falmouth), 22. Sam Parsons (Redruth), 23. Jake Murphy (Cornish All Blacks) 24. Matt Shepherd (St. Austell).

Reserves to travel: Tyler Gendall (St. Ives), Joel Matavesi (Camborne)


Posted 19th May 2014

The President of the CRFU, Ken Plummer, paid an "ansome" tribute to Trelawny's Army in his programme notes for last Saturday’s Cornwall v Gloucestershire match. (See below.)

Ken Plummer’s page

Ken Plummer’s page in the Cornwall v Gloucestershire programme.

Everyone at TASC thanks Ken for his kind words. It’s always nice to be appreciated — especially by someone who has contributed so much to Cornish rugby over the years and who is universally respected within the game.


By TASC Chairman Phil Trevarton

Posted 18th May 2014

After last week’s dream start by Cornwall the mighty Gloucestershire juggernaut rolled into Camborne with every intention of wiping the smiles off the faces of the 2000+ fans gathered in the ranks of Black and Gold around the pitch.

The game was hard and physical — what else would you expect from one of England’s most successful Counties? Early advantage went to Gloucestershire, but back came Cornwall — two tries in the bag before an injury-time recovery by Gloucestershire, who went into the break 12-13 to the good.

A big thanks must go to yellow carded Gloucestershire Prop Joe Smart, who took time to conduct the singing in the crowd en route to the sin-bin. Nice-one Joe, perhaps if you had stayed on the pitch you might have stopped Craig Williams from opening the scoring in the second half.

Gloucestershire still had plenty of effort and fought hard, taking the lead for the last time with a converted try. But it wasn’t long before the lead was restored by an exquisite charge-down try by Lewis Vinnicombe, and the final “coup de gras “ was served up by Tom Notman, scoring his second try of the match, which stretched the lead to a comfortable 13 points.

There was a “Should’ve gone to Spec-Savers” moment in the later stages of the game that saw the officials award a try to Gloucestershire that, according to many, was grounded a meter short of the line.

In the terms of the County Championship, another 5 points in the bag and the coach to Twickers has just pulled passed Reading. The forecast is hazy with a storm building over Hertford.

And finally,

A BIG THANK-YOU, Camborne RFC, for hosting a great game and allowing TASC to set up our Merchandise Stand.

And another BIGGER THANK-YOU to all the fans of Cornish Rugby for supporting the team. You cheered and sang all afternoon - Well Done!!!!


By TASC Chairman Phil Trevarton

Posted 11th May 2014

A Big Thank You to Redruth RFC and the CRFU for once again for allowing our trade-stand into Redruth for the North Midlands game.

Despite the strong breeze trying its hardest to dismantle our gazebos, Marina and Viv made good sales all day, so another Thank You is due to all of our customers who bought items. Your support of our merchandise stand ensures that we will continue to support Cornish Rugby in 2015. (Check out TRELAWNY'S ARMY PRESENTATIONS TO CORNISH CLUBS 2013-2014 for 2014's sponsorships.)

The trade-stand is also a useful opportunity to renew memberships and book seats on the coach to Herts, or to just pop in and say Hello!

The trade-stand will be at Camborne RFC next week for the Gloucestershire game, so if you missed us at Redruth, don't worry, you can catch us on Saturday.

P.S. Cheques or cash only, please, we don't do cards. And, to avoid disappointment, order this week by email or phone, as items can sell out on the day.


By TASC Chairman Phil Trevarton

Posted 11th May 2014

A dream start for the “Dream Team” of Cornish Rugby — a massive win and a good workout before the opposition stiffens up.

For me the game was in the bag when the pack's pressure on North Midlands resulted in a penalty try. At that stage the crowd in Hellfire Corner was applying its own unique pressure with the "Away, Away, Away, Cornwall! Cornwall!" chant. The dejected looks from the North Midlands players, who will never have experienced that atmosphere before, as they stared into the crowd said it all.

The crowd, estimated at just below 1400, is a worthy start and I hope will be even bigger at Camborne to give Gloucestershire the welcome they deserve. Expect a different team to the one well beaten by Herts. Gloucestershire is a huge rugby county with plenty of resources to call on, so we are needed to play our parts to cheer the team on.

In terms of the County Championship, it’s 5 points in the bag and the coach to Twickers has just pulled into Taunton Dean Services for breakfast.

So if you enjoyed the game at Redruth, bring a friend to Camborne and lets see if we can get the crowd up to 3000 next week!


At Penryn RFC, Sunday 27th April 2014

Report by TASC Chairman Phil Trevarton.

Posted 30th April 2014

Once again it was a great privilege to be part of this great Tag Rugby Tournament, where so many families will be introduced to Cornwall's great rugby atmosphere.

Action from Penryn

Action from Penryn


Some 440 children from 17 of Cornwall’s Clubs played with fierce pride in chasing the oval ball in a spirit of friendship and sportsmanship that Rugby brings to the world. Who knows where these early steps will take these young boys and girls as they mature, Club representation, County, Premiership, even International level.

Our part was a small one, we provided the Festival Match-balls, one for each Club playing but the pleasure was ours seeing so many young faces playing hard, but fairly and I can say with certainty that the future of rugby in Cornwall is safe in these young hands.


London Cornish RFC have just completed the most successful season in the club’s history. Ben Gilby tells us all about it.

Posted 27th April 2014

London Cornish Rugby Club’s 51st season will live long in the memory of all connected to the Roehampton-based club as all four of the club’s sides have just enjoyed the best league placings in their history.

A moment from London Cornish’s season A moment from London Cornish’s season A moment from London Cornish’s season

Moments from London Cornish’s season

The 1st XV play in London Two South-West, the seventh tier of English rugby, and have had a sensational season, which saw them claim a highest ever league position of third place. Prior to this season, Cornish had never won more than three straight games in this division, but a sensational run of form from the beginning of December until the end of the season saw tens wins from their last twelve games, which included seven successive wins, each with bonus points for scoring four or more tries. All of this was achieved after the injury ravaged travails of the previous campaign which saw Cornish fighting an ultimately successful and heroic rearguard action to avoid relegation. With the top two sides in the division, Guildford and Gosport & Fareham having gained promotion, Cornish will be focused on improving even further next season.

It is not just the first team that have had plenty to celebrate, three promotions in seven seasons saw the 2s play in the regional level Zoo Sports Shield Division 3, where they finished 6th. In 2012-13 The 3rd XV, known as The Choughs completed back to back Championship seasons and will be contested the Middlesex Merit Table Division 1 after rising 3 leagues in 2 seasons. Cornish’s social side, ‘The Dukes’ took part Middlesex Merit Table Division Two for the first time this season having been awarded a double promotion following the unbeaten run to the Division Four Championship in 2012/13.

London Cornish’s Director of Rugby, Dickon Moon’s renowned coaching reputation has been recognised by his county as new Cornwall coach Graham Dawe has continued Dickon’s tenure with the Cornish coaching set-up this season – which is a massive honour for all connected with the club. All eyes for Cornish rugby supporters now turn to the County Championship – London Cornish members and fans will be heading up to Hertford on 17th May to support the black and gold in the big match against Hertfordshire – all are hoping for another appearance in a Twickenham final – but with a more pleasing result this year!