SAM MATAVESI returns to the Cornish Pirates’ starting line-up for their big home match against league leaders London Irish on Saturday (2.30pm).

The teams have already played each other three times this season.

In the October away league match, the Pirates lost 38-29 and they were beaten again at the Madejski Stadium in November, going down 64-17 in the cup. But in December’s home cup tie the Pirates upset the odds by winning 19-7.

That was their first-ever win against London Irish, so they will be expecting a backlash this weekend.

As well Matavesi returning into the starting team, AJ Cant comes in on the left wing, while Jack Owlett will line-up tight-head prop.

Pirates co-coach Alan Paver said:“The occasion will create an extra buzz to boost the atmosphere. Also, with good support, it should give us that added desire to perform.

“We understand it’s a challenge, however, our aim must be to go and put our game on the field and see if we can pressurise them.”

Cornish Pirates:  15 Maliq Holden, 14 Robin Wedlake, 13 Rory Parata, 12 Javier Rojas Alvarez, 11 AJ Cant, 10 Will Cargill, 9 Alex Schwarz; 1 Marlen Walker, 2 Sam Matavesi, 3 Jack Owlett, 4 Toby Freeman, 5 Brett Beukeboom (c), 6 Josh Caulfield, 7 Matt Bolwell, 8 Tom Duncan.

Replacements:  16 Dan Frost, 17 Jack Andrew, 18 Dan Lee, 19 John Stevens, 20 Alex Day 21 Callum Patterson, 22 Dan Koster.

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