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Richard Lowther View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 May 2009 at 23:17
Yorkshire launch Bill Beaumont Cup defence
Wednesday May 6, 2009
Issued by Tony Simpson
YORKSHIRE launch the defence of the Bill Beaumont Cup when they begin their RU County Championship campaign against Northumberland at Harrogate on Saturday (3pm).

The White Rose team have not taken the field as reigning champions since they defeated Devon and Cornwall in successive seasons at the beginning of the decade, their win over Cornwall in 2001 coming in what was really an exhibition match when the foot & mouth epidemic effectively cancelled the competition.

The 33-13 success which last season ended Devon's run of five successive appearances in the final has had a beneficial impact on the Yorkshire build-up, as Coach Bob Hood explains.

"The good news is that we've achieved a climate in which everybody wants to be involved again," he said: "With winning last year, the appetites are back among the ex-Under 20s and Under 21s and apart from players who are injured, everyone who was in the squad last year has made themselves available.

"We had a really good session last week in which we started where we left off last year and we've also had the good news that the Otley players will be available because their game against Moseley has been cancelled."

One of the new players in the squad is Huddersfield fly-half Chris Johnson, who has already played for the England Counties XV this season and will be vying for a place in the squad to tour Korea and Japan in June if he gets a White Rose jersey.

Johnson's arrival on the scene, together with the involvement of Rotherham's young No 10 Jonny West has given the selectors an option, with Manchester's England Counties fly-half Richard Wainwright, who has been playing at full-back for his club, being able to cover in that role for Wharfedale's Adam Whaites, who is ruled out of the No 15 slot with injury.

"We're looking forward to it, but it's important that we get off to a good start," he says: "We're certainly not taking Northumberland lightly by any means. But I think we will be able to produce a pack and a set of backs that will complement each other, with the forwards including some very skilful ball carriers. That's the plan, although we'll have to see where are with injuries when we meet tomorrow night (Thursday) at Morley.

Last season Northumberland were also celebrating at Twickenham after they won the County Championship Shield by beating Cornwall 25-11, part of the reward for that victory being elevation to the Bill Beaumont Cup and a trip to Claro Road on Saturday.

Northumberland have named a preliminary squad in preparation for the Championship, with the backlog of club games that is still unfolding influencing their selection as it is most of the counties in the North.

Blaydon, Tynedale and Morpeth will provide the bulk of the squad, supplemented by players from Alnwick, Stewarts Melville, Percy Park, London Scottish and Launceston.

Dave Hodgson, Chairman of the Lancashire selectors, has worked hard through the season with his 'spotters' to ensure that every angle has been covered for the 2009 campaign, which begins against Warwickshire at Barker's Butts Arena on Saturday.

New names have burst into contention and only seven of the weekend's 22 appeared on the team sheet for the opening Bill Beaumont Cup match last season, also against Warwickshire.

About 33 players remain in the frame, Mark Nelson leading a strong coaching and back-up team that includes Martin Scott and Sale Sharks' contributions from James Wade and Pete Anglesea.

Team Manager Steve Rigby is still cautiously optimistic as his squad travels to Coventry hoping to improve on their five-try, 35-25 win against Warwickshire in May 2008.

Cumbria have been hit by the fixture back-log affecting some of their clubs, but they are fortunate to have the services of Fylde's experienced No 8 Dan Bowman to lead the side in their County Championship Shield tie against North Midlands in his home town of Workington.

Tynedale hooker Joe Graham is back in the frame, as is Penrith fly-half Steve Wood, who has been in fine form for his club. He adds to the spine of experience running through what will be a young team hoping to that familiarity drawn from close club ties will help the group to gel together.

Cheshire also draw from a tight club unit, with Manchester, Caldy and Macclesfield players forming the nucleus of the team which opens its Shield challenge against Leicestershire at Vipers RFC.

Tom Eaton at fly-half inherits the captaincy from the injured Jon Sewell, who switches to coaching duties alongside Steve Rule, and there is optimism in the camp that a slick back division can prosper if conditions are favourable.

Leicestershire were runners-up in last season's County Championship Plate, where they were beaten by Hampshire in the final, and they have secured promotion to the second-tier County Championship Shield as a consequence.

They have retained the majority of the squad that helped them win promotion.

"It's a step up for us this year but we said when we played
Hampshire in last season's final that this is the level that we should be playing at," said Leicestershire's head coach Rob Tebbutt, the former Leicester Tigers back-row forward.

"We've tried to keep the same squad together for this season. We came together well last year and we've got a group of players who enjoy playing for the county."

Durham opened their County Championship Plate campaign with a 26-26 home draw against Notts, Lincs & Derby and need to find sharper finishing skills and tighter discipline when they take on Staffordshire at Lichfield.

The Midlands side were beaten by East Midlands last Saturday, but have been strengthened by the availability of Moseley lock Ali Muldowney and Macclesfield pair Rob McDermott and Josh Fowles.

County Championship 2009 fixtures:

Bill Beaumont Cup
May 9 - Warwickshire v Lancashire (at Coventry), Yorkshire v Northumberland (at Harrogate), Somerset v Gloucestershire (at Taunton), Devon v Cornwall (at Plymouth Albion).
May 16 - Lancashire v Yorkshire (at Fylde), Northumberland v Warwickshire (at Tynedale), Cornwall v Somerset.
May 17 - Gloucestershire v Devon at Kingsholm
May 23 - Lancashire v Northumberland (at Sedgley Park), Yorkshire v Warwickshire (at Hull Ionians), Gloucestershire v Cornwall, Somerset v Devon at Taunton

County Championship Shield
May 9 - Cumbria v North Midlands (at Workington), Leicestershire v Cheshire (at Vipers RFC), Hampshire v Middlesex (at Basingstoke), Hertfordshire v Eastern Counties
May 16 - North Midlands v Leicestershire, Cumbria v Cheshire, Hampshire v Hertfordshire (at Basingstoke), Eastern Counties v Middlesex (at Ipswich YM)
May 23 - Cheshire v North Midlands, Leicestershire v Cumbria, Eastern Counties v Hertfordshire, Middlesex v Hertfordshire (at Staines)

County Championship Plate
May 2 - Pool 1: Durham 26 Notts, Lincs & Derby 26, East Midlands 24 Staffordshire 10. Pool 2: Kent 30 Buckinghamshire 10, Sussex 25 Berkshire 17. Pool 3: Oxfordshire 38 Dorset & Wiltshire 10.
May 9 - Pool 1: Notts, Lincs & Derby v East Midlands (at Newark), Staffordshire v Durham (at Lichfield). Pool 2: Sussex v Buckinghamshire (at East Grinstead), Berkshire v Kent. Pool 3: Dorset & Wilts v Essex (at Bournemouth).
May 16 - Pool 1: Durham v East Midlands (at Darlington), Notts, Lincs & Derby v Staffordshire (at Newark). Pool 2: Kent v Sussex (at Medway), Buckinghamshire v Berkshire. Pool 3: Essex v Oxfordshire (at Eton Manor).
May 23 - Plate semi-finals
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 May 2009 at 23:20
I will be at Harrogate, it would be good to meet up with any one from this board. As usual I will be wearing my Wakefield baseball cap.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 May 2009 at 08:40
What about making the Woodlands, Richard & other National Forum mates, for the Roses match on the 16th? Fylde is making a big deal of the game, with a May Ball the previous evening and general weekend celebrations suitable to the history of this famous fixture.

Come along and chat to Bill Beaumont, Brian Ashton, John Spencer, Fran Cotton, Steve Smith and some of the other greats who've played this game in previous eras and who'll all be there.

Under the strap line of "Come and have a pint with us and see the Roses clash", order ten tickets for the game (£5 per head; £3 concessions) and get a free pint for each member of the party.

It should be a good day, especially seeing that both counties have chosen powerful squads for the competition.


Edited by Allan Foster - 07 May 2009 at 08:42
An academic is someone who sees something working perfectly in practice & wonders if it will work in theory
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 May 2009 at 18:30
Originally posted by Allan Foster Allan Foster wrote:

What about making the Woodlands, Richard
 
Sounds like a great day but alas I will be on my holidays ...now should I insert smiley for that or a sad face?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 May 2009 at 20:30
Cornwall's squad announced for Saturday's clash with the 'old enemy'
 




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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 May 2009 at 14:59
A few changes from the squad in the link above for the matchday side.
 
Cornwall:15. Malcom Roberts (Cornish All Blacks & Army), 14. Willem Dirksen (St. Ives), 13. Ryan Westren (Cornish All Blacks, Captain), 12. Paul Thirlby (Redruth), 11. Sean Hawkey (UWIC & Wadebridge Camels), 10. Lewis Webb (Cornish All Blacks), 9. Mark Richards (Redruth), 1. Darren Jacques (Redruth), 2. Owen Hambly (Redruth), 3. Sam Heard (Unattatched), 4. Luke Collins (Cornish Pirates), 5. Richard Carroll (Unattatched), 6. Sam Hocking (Cornish All Blacks), 7. Tom Rawlings (Cornish All Blacks), 8. Mark Bright (Redruth).

Replacements: 16. David Pascoe (Penryn & Navy), 17. Brett Rule (Redruth), 18. Peter Joyce (Redruth), 19. Damien Cook (Redruth), 20. Chris Fuca (Redruth), 21. Danny Clackworthy (Hayle), 22. Scott Hobson (Bath).

To travel: 23. Jason Bolt (Cornish All Blacks), 24. Ben Hilton (Cornish All Blacks), 25. Steve Kenward (Redruth).





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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 May 2009 at 17:10
Anyone know the Yorkshire squad or team?
 
I know gaz lewis is in the squad with Si Davies on stanby (both from the Gate)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2009 at 20:30
Just one change for Cornwall in the team to play Somerset tomorrow at Redruth with Mal Roberts unavailable, Adryan Winnan comes in at full back. 




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