Key duo return as Pirates target first play-off win
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Friday, March 23, 2012
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Skipper Gavin Cattle will lead his Cornish Pirates troops against Rotherham Titans at the Mennaye Field on Sunday (3pm) as they look for their first win in the RFU Championship play-offs, writes Dick Straughan.
A disappointing draw against Leeds followed by last week's painful 26-25 reverse at Bedford which ended an eight game unbeaten run, has left the Pirates in urgent need of a victory as they bid to qualify for the semi-finals of the competition.
​Pirates centre Sam Hill returns on Sunday after a successful 6 Nations campaign with the England Under-20 squad.
Pirates centre Sam Hill returns on Sunday after a successful 6 Nations campaign with the England Under-20 squad.
Success against the Titans coupled with a predicted win for leaders Bedford at Leeds in the other pool fixture this weekend would do much to strengthen that claim and the Pirates welcome back two recent absentees for the game.
Lock Laurie McGlone has missed the last five matches with a knee problem and returns in place of Matt Smith, while centre Sam Hill starts after enjoying a successful 6 Nations campaign with the England Under-20 squad.
Grant Pointer moves from the centre to the right wing in place of Tom Kessell while the coaching team sticks with the half-back pairing of Cattle and Ceiron Thomas after they tormented Bedford a week ago.
Up front the only change in the front row sees Carl Rimmer come in at loosehead prop for Ryan Storer with the back row remaining unchanged.
Fit again Rob Elloway continues on the bench, while Tom Cooper completes the 22 selected players after recovering from a knee ligament strain.
Rotherham make one change to their squad for the trip to Cornwall with lock Neale Patrick coming in for the injured Sam Dickinson.
By all accounts Tom Kessell performed very well at the away game against Rotherham and with our injury problems in the backs he gives us extra cover out wide as shown recently when he has played well on the wing.
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