ROBIN WEDLAKE will make a welcome return for the Cornish Pirates on Saturday as they head to Butts Park Arena to take on Coventry (3pm).
Coventry, who have made a welcome return to the Championship following their relegation at the end of the competition’s inaugural 2009-10 season, are presently seventh in the league, just two places behind the Pirates.
The Midlanders lost 23-17 against Doncaster Knights last Saturday, however, that was only their second Championship home defeat of the season – and even then they outscored their opponents by three tries to two.
The Pirates are looking to bounce back from their defeat at Yorkshire Carnegie last Sunday.
Top try scorer Wedlake is back from injury for the trip to the Midlands, while Javier Rojas Alvarez will start at fly-half after coming on last week due to an injury Will Cargill. On the bench, a fit again Dan Frost is selected as the replacement hooker and Harvey Skinner takes the seat vacated by Alvarez.
Saturday’s match will see Pirates lock Toby Freeman make his 50th appearance for the club.
Pirates’ co-coach Alan Paver is keen to see a reaction following last week’s frustratingly disappointing result in Yorkshire.
He said: “Various aspects of our game malfunctioned last week and everyone agreed performances were below expected standards.
“For this week, against a solid Coventry team that has stepped back up to the Championship, ticked the right boxes and got a foothold well, we will need a reaction.
“This is a crossroads in the league and thus a game of real importance, and
our hope will be to see that extra five per cent in attitude when hitting the pitch, as we know has been produced in the past.
“It’s been a tight turnaround since Sunday, but the guys know what is expected and they will travel fully prepped and ready and it’ll be how they apply themselves on the day.”
Cornish Pirates: 15 Kyle Moyle, 14 Alex O’Meara, 13 Rory Parata, 12 Callum Patterson, 11 Robin Wedlake, 10 Javier Rojas Alvarez, 9 Alex Day; 1 Marlen Walker, 2 Sam Matavesi, 3 Tyler Gendall, 4 Toby Freeman, 5 Brett Beukeboom (c), 6 Josh Caulfield, 7 John Stevens, 8 Tom Duncan.
Replacements: 16 Dan Frost, 17 Jack Andrew, 18 Matt Bolwell, 19 Dan Lee, 20 Jake Ashby, 21 Harvey Skinner, 22 Matt Evans.