Friday, 10 January 2014

Cornish Pirates v Ayr preview

Ayr return to action on Sunday as they take on Cornish Pirates at the Mennaye Field in Penzance in the British and Irish Cup.  After a tough loss in their first meeting at Millbrae earlier in the season, Ayr head coach Peter Laverie knows that this rematch will be a difficult proposition, but is looking forward to it nonetheless.

"Our players enjoy the British and Irish Cup and relish the challenge and will be having a real go at quality opposition.  These matches offer a significant test and let players and clubs see where they have to get to on a consistent basis, which can only be good for our game."

Before the tough task on Sunday, Ayr will enjoy the Heineken Cup match between Exeter and Glasgow Warriors on Saturday, thanks to the help of Nathan Bombrys and Tony Rowe.  Then the players will turn their attention to the Pirates, with some old and new faces running out in the pink and black.

As the squad will travel back on Monday, several players are unavailable due to work and university commitments, which allows others to get some first XV experience.  Craig Brown starts at lock, with Danny McCluskey, who featured against the Pirates at Millbrae, and Stewart Walker named amongst the replacements.  Regional Academy and former Ayr player Ben Johnston is also on the bench.

Former Millbrae men Mark Bennett and Gordon Reid have been released by Glasgow Warriors and take their places at outside centre and prop respectively. Fellow Warrior Fraser Brown starts at openside flanker.  Robbie Fergusson moves to full back and Dean Kelbrick captains the side for the first time.


15. Robbie Fergusson, 14. Craig Gossman, 13. Mark Bennett, 12. Dean Kelbrick (capt), 11. Kerr Gossman; 10. Finn Russell, 9. Murray McConnell; 1. Gordon Reid, 2. Fergus Scott, 3. Nick Cox; 4. Craig Brown, 5. Callum Templeton; 6. Andrew Dunlop, 7. Fraser Brown, 8. Peter McCallum.


16. George Hunter, 17. D'arcy Rae, 18. Stewart Walker, 19. Ben Johnston, 20. Peter Jericevich, 21. Sylvain Diez, 22. Danny McCluskey.

Kick-off 3pm.  The match will be broadcast live on BBC Radio Cornwall.

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