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Cornwall Open Campaign With Victory

Cornwall's U18 squad travelled to the home of Hornets RFC in Weston-super-Mare this Sunday to open their U18 England Counties U18 campaign.

They faced a relative stranger at this age group in Oxfordshire, to my memory not a county Cornwall have ever played in this age group, or certainly not for a long time.

Playing on the recently laid artificial pitch at Hornets RFC, both sides were hoping for a quick flowing game and Cornwall seemed to start the stronger. With early pressure by the Cornwall pack leading to a try by U17 player Charlie Short from 3m out.  At the request of the selectors there was to be no conversions taken during the campaign so as much game time could be played ( Cornwall 5 - 0 Oxfordshire)

Oxfordshire then began to bring some of their big forwards into the game with some very strong running close to the breakdown, Oxfordshire looked intent on trying to bludgeon their way through the Cornish defence but the "black & gold" held firm and managed to relieve the pressure through tenacity and commitment.

The game ebbed and flowed through the first half with both sides having good spells in their opponents "22" but Cornwall were unable to convert their territorial advantage into points.  Had this been any other game either side may have been able to convert a number of penalties into points but, again at the request of the selectors, there were no kicks for goal from penalties allowed.

Oxfordshire were next to cross the line with more powerful running from their pack "sucking in" the Cornish defence which allowed the Oxfordshire back line to get to the outside of the Cornish line.  Some weak tackling allowed the Oxfordshire winger to run in from 25m (Cornwall 5 - 5 Oxfordshire)

The first half came to an end 2 minutes early when a head injury to the Oxfordshire tighthead stopped the game. Quick reactions from from a Cornwall player made sure the injured player was immediately protected and the referee stopped the game. The Oxfordshire and Cornwall physio's attended to the player until an ambulance arrived.  The second half was delayed around 45 mins while treatment was carried out and the player was removed from the field.

We have since found out that the player was taken to hospital for full checks but was released late last night with no serious injuries.  Heavily concussed and will be out of the game until the New Year, everyone at Cornwall RFU U18 wishes him a quick recovery. 

When the second half finally got back under way it was again Cornwall that began the stronger, this time however Cornwall were able to convert some of the pressure they were applying.  With gaps beginning to appear around the park, Cornwall's more free flowing style began to pay dividends and players were seeming to make meters at will, but again the final decision or execution of the final pass weren't always good enough.  However Cornwall managed to score a further three tries to take the score to 25-10.

With a number of changes to the Cornwall side, both personnel and positional, Cornwall lost a little structure late in the second half, and the last 10 mins seemed to be facing a strong last push from Oxfordshire.  This continual pressure, linked in with team changes and fatigue, led to a number of penalties against the "black & gold" and had this been any other fixture could probably have seen a yellow card.

Oxfordshire finished the game with two late tries to bring the scoreline closer but the final whistle came in time and the victory was theirs (Cornwall 25 - 20 Oxfordshire)

Good to have the victory but Cornwall were disappointed that they didn't convert all the pressure they had in to points, the coaching team will be looking for a more clinical performance when the face Somerset in two weeks time at the same venue.

 
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U18s Take First Step To The Red Rose

This Sunday (3rd Dec) sees this seasons Cornwall U18 squad open their 2017 England Counties campaign when they face Oxfordshire at Weston Hornets RFC.

This is Cornwall's opening fixture in the 2017 England Counties SW Division Championship with their other fixture to be played on 16th Dec against Somerset.

Over the two fixtures the Cornish players will be assessed by SW Division U18 & England Counties U18 coaches. Hopefully then they will be selected to be part of the 37 man squad that will attend the SW Division Final Assessment Day (FAD) at Hartbury College in Gloucestershire.

If successful there, the players will then become part of the 23-25 man SW Division squad that will compete in the England Counties U18 Divisional Day, with the ultimate goal of pulling on the red rose shirt and represent England Counties U18 for the 2018 season.

The Cornwall squad will be competing against players from Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Devon, Dorset & Wilts, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Somerset.

Cornwall have already played Devon this season in a warm-up fixture where they took the spoils in a strongly contested game in Plymouth where the "black & gold" came away 17-19 victors.

 

Squad to face Oxfordshire this Sunday

 

  • D.Bristow          St Austell RFC
  • C.Looker           Camborne RFC
  • C.Short             Launceston RFC
  • C.Baker            Launceston RFC
  • R.Mead             Bude RFC
  • B.Bromfield       Newquay RFC
  • M.Osborne        Penzance & Newlyn RFC
  • S.Matthews       Hartbury College
  • L.Cole               Launceston RFC
  • P.Parry             Perranporth RFC
  • A.Jacobs           Launceston RFC
  • R.Freeth           Camborne RFC
  • M.Austin           Truro School
  • D.Tyrell            St Austell RFC
  • A.Simmonds     Newquay RFC (Capt)
  • C.Standen        Truro School
  • F.Nottle            St Austell
  • A.Relton           Penzance & Newlyn RFC
  • J.Smith            Liskeard-Looe RFC
  • J.Mares            Newquay RFC
  • J.Vanstone       Launceston RFC
  • S.Cornish         Penzance & Newlyn RFC
  • L.Couch            Launceston RFC
  • R.Colrein          Liskeard-Looe RFC
 
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Devon U18s 17 v Cornwall U18s 19

Well done to the boys who beat Devon at Keyham on Sunday 29th October.

This Sunday (29th Oct) sees Cornwall U18 Group face the local rivals Devon at Keyham 3G (Plymouth) in a warm up fixture for this seasons U18 Championship. KO 2:00pm

Having lost to a strong and well organised Exeter Chiefs Outreach XV last week at Polson Bridge, the Cornwall coaching team will be looking for the players to start this game just like they finished the last.  This is the final match before the squad get ready for their two fixtures in the 2017 England Counties (SW) U18 Championship in December.

This season sees Cornwall face Oxfordshire (3rd Dec) and Somerset (16th Dec) with both games being played on the new 3G pitch at Weston Hornets RFC in front of SW Division and England Counties selectors.

Cornwall will be hoping to improve on last year where they had 6 players selected from the two fixtures to attend the SW Division Final Assessment Day (FAD) at Hartbury College with 3 players selected to represent the SW Division in the National Divisional Tournament and St Ives 2nd Row Jake Clemson going on to represent England Counties U18 against Ireland.

 

Squad For Sunday Against Devon (Keyham 3G, KO 2:00pm)

 

  • Charlie Short               (Launceston RFC)
  • Daryl Bristow               (St Austell RFC)
  • Joshua Barbery            (St Austell RFC)
  • Jack Maclean-Brown     (St Agnes RFC)
  • Rory Mead                   (Bude RFC) 
  • Callum Looker             (Camborne RFC)
  • Billy Bromfield             (Newquay RFC)
  • Sam Matthews             (Hartbury College)
  • Mawgan Osborne         (Penzance & Newlyn RFC)
  • Thomas Walters           (Liskeard-Looe RFC)
  • Patrick Parry               (Perranporth RFC)
  • Aiden Jacob                 (Launceston RFC)
  • Robert Freeth              (Camborne RFC)
  • Michael Austin              (Truro School)
  • Dan Tyrell                   (St Austell RFC)
  • Aaron Simmonds         (Newquay RFC)
  • Ashley Gilder               (St Austell RFC)
  • Fraser Nottle                (St Austell RFC)
  • Jordan Smith               (Liskeard-Looe RFC)
  • Josh Mares                  (Newquay RFC)
  • Arthur Relton               (Penazance & Newlyn RFC)
  • Joe Vanstone               (Launceston RFC)
  • Luke Couch                  (Launceston RFC)
  • Shea Cornish               (Penzance & Newlyn RFC)
  • Rhys Colrein                (Liskeard-Looe RFC)

 

 
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2017-18 Cornwall U18 Squad Named

The Cornwall U18 squad for the upcoming 2017/18 season has been released.  The squad will begin working together in Aug in preparation for the fixture schedule which begins in Sept against Plymouth College 1st XV.  The squad will play fixtures against Truro School 1st XV, Exeter Chiefs Outreach XV, Devon U18 and will culminate in two fixtures in the England Counties (SW Division) U18 Championship where they will play Oxfordshire on Sun 3rd Dec and Somerset on Sat 16th Dec.

Cornwall RFU U18 Squad 2017-18

  • Callum Looker          (Camborne RFC)
  • Daryl Bristow            (St Austell RFC)
  • Charlie Short             (Launceston RFC)
  • Rory Mead                 (Bude RFC)
  • Olly Pugh                   (Truro RFC)
  • Chae Jenkins             (Launceston RFC)
  • Joshua Barbery         (St Austell RFC)
  • Billy Bromfield          (Newquay RFC)
  • Leion Cole                 (Launceston RFC)
  • Sam Matthews          (Hartbury College)
  • Thomas Walters        (Liskeard RFC)
  • Patrick Parry              (Redruth RFC)
  • Mawgan Osborne       (Penzance & Newlyn RFC)
  • Robert Freeth            (Camborne RFC)
  • Michael Austin           (Truro School)
  • Dan Tyrell                  (St Austell RFC)
  • Aaron Simmonds      (Newquay RFC)
  • Charlie Standen        (Truro RFC)
  • Josh Mares                 (Newquay RFC)
  • Jordan Smith             (Liskeard RFC)
  • Arthur Relton             (Penzance & Newlyn RFC)
  • Fraser Nottle              (St Austell RFC)
  • Joe Vanstone             (Launceston RFC)
  • Luke Couch                (Launceston RFC)
  • Shea Cornish             (Penzance & Newlyn RFC)
  • Rhys Colrein              (Liskeard RFC)

Congratulations to all the players who have been selected but the U18 Group management team would like to thank all players, parents and clubs who have supported the the U17 & U18 programme over the past season and the attitude and commitment from everyone has been fantastic....here's to a successful season!!

 
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U17 Season Under Way

The Cornwall U17 Group season is now under way for 2016-17.  The U17 Group follows a different format than other age grades as the focus is on a larger squad, giving more players the opportunity to pull on a Cornwall shirt.  The process began early 2016 when the U16 "Open Access" sessions were held at Newquay and Wadebridge RFC.  These sessions saw over 130 boys attend and culminated in the traditional fixture of a Potential Cornwall U17 XV against the U16 County Cup winners at Bodmin RFC.  This year saw the Cornwall side face Truro U16 in a very competitive game, with the Cornwall XV coming out on top.

From the original 130+ players the U17 squad is cut down to approx 65 players who are all invited to attend the U17 squad day at Bodmin RFC in November.  As this is the age group where players leave school and enter colleges there is a huge amount of disruption in the squad selection as many players develop over the summer period, some leave rugby all together, some move clubs or even change position therefore the squad day is a way of seeing where everyone is and what they are doing.

The U17 Group play a number of fixtures over Dec, Jan and Feb and every player in the squad is given at least one game in a Cornwall shirt, this allows the coaching team the opportunity to see how players perform against a higher standard of opposition than many will have faced at this time.

This season the fixtures are

U17 v Truro School 1st XV                                      Sun 11th Dec @ Truro School

U17 v Dorset & Wilts and Somerset (3-way fixture)   Sun 18th Dec @ Newquay RFC

U17 v Plymouth College 1st XV                                Sun 15th Jan @ Marjon, Plymouth

U17 v Dorset & Wilts and Somerset (3-way fixture)   Sun 29th Jan @ Dorchester RFC

U17 v Dorset & Wilts and Somerset (3-way fixture)   Sun 12th Feb @ TBC

 

At the end of the U17 season the coaching team select the U18 squad for the following season from the players that have played for the U17.  The reason behind this is that the U18 season begins early in the autumn and there is not the time to go through another selection process.  However due to recent changes to the structured Constituent Body (CB) signed off by the RFU this may change as the U17 & U18 seasons will be different in the future.

 

Any questions about CRFU U17 or U18 Group please contact me on 07800880381 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Cornish Players Make The Grade

Seven of this seasons Cornwall U18 group squad have been successful in taking the next step toward representing England Counties at U18 level.

The two weekends of the October half term saw all eight counties in the South West Division compete at Bristol Grammar School.  The aim of this contest is to select players to represent the South West in the divisional weekend against other divisions from around England.

The players have been selected from over 200 players who took part in the championship at Bristol. They will be part of a 37 man squad that will take part in a final assessment day which is held at Hartbury College in Gloucester on 15th January. 

If they are successful following the final assessment they will play against a Gloucester Rugby Academy side on 28th Jan and finally compete in the Divisional weekend on 24th & 25th Feb.

Players who compete in the divisional weekend are then selected to represent England Counties U18.

 

Congratulations to the players selected and we wish you all luck in the next stages.

 

Players selected in SW FAD Squad

Jake Clemson (St Ives RFC & Penwith College)

Keane Whitaker (St Austell RFC & Bodmin College)

Aaron Simmonds (Newquay RFC & Truro College)

Jack Old (Wadebridge Camels & Wadebridge 6th Form College)

Johnny Wood (Truro School)

Kyle Bradley (Helston RFC & Truro College)

Tom Hawken (Helston RFC & Helston Community College)

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Cornwall Too Strong For Visitors

With this being the only home fixture for Cornwall U18 group this season, the players and coaches were keen to put on a good display for the faithful Cornish crowd that had gathered at St Austell's Tregorrick Park on Sunday afternoon.

With a few injuries to squad members, the coaches used the opportunity to select from the promising number of U17 players that have been highlighted through the U17 selection process. Even with the changes to the match day 23 the Cornwall players were confident following on from two strong performances against Bucks and Devon.

Things didn't start well though, when Cornwall lost one of their props in the warm-up.

The previous two fixtures had been "selection" games and it was obvious from the start that as this was effectively a "friendly", the intensity wasn't quite the same, as Cornwall looked laboured and couldn't seem to bring the normal consistency to their game.  With dominance in the forwards and a huge attacking force in the back line it was only Cornwall's mistakes and frustration that kept Somerset in the game.

Eventually things began to click and Cornwall managed to get on the scoreboard through some excellent continuity play in the forwards.  With the offloads now "sticking" confidence was growing.  Somerset soon quashed the new found confidence when Cornwall failed to secure the restart and some simple but effective "one up" driving by the visiting forwards led them to the Cornwall line.  Only a few meters away Cornwall again were guilty of communication failings when the Somerset 9 simply strolled around the corner of a ruck to score. (7-5)

The Somerset score and the "gentle encouragement" from the Cornwall coaches appeared to concentrate the "black & gold" players as this was to be the final score by Somerset.  

Cornwall took a hold of the game and with the forwards being able to provide a solid platform, the impressive backs began to tear holes all through the defence.  A further two tries were scored in the first half meaning Cornwall went into the break with a healthy 21-5 lead.

The 2nd half pretty much followed the first with Somerset only managing to break into the Cornish 22 on the rare occasion.  The inclement weather probably didn't help matters but it appeared that Cornwall adapted best to the constant changes from sun to rain to hail back to sun again.  Cornwall scored a further three unanswered tries in the 2nd half (one converted) to finish off the afternoon 38-5 victors.  

The players and coaches would like to thank St Austell RFC for their fantastic hospitality and use of their facilities as always.  Thanks again to the large support, including the members of TASC, who braved the cold and wet to cheer on the players.

 

The U18 season is now complete but the coaching team now move on to the U17 season which begins in earnest on 20th Nov at Bodmin RFC where the annual "squad day" will be held.

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Cornwall To face Somerset In Final Game Of The Season

This Sunday (6th Nov) see's Cornwall U18 face Somerset in their final game of the 2016 U18 season.  The game will be their only home county fixture of this season and will be played at St Austell RFC, with KO planned for 2:15pm.

The U18 group have had a mixed season with two wins in their first two warm up games against a Plymouth College 1st XV and an Exeter Chiefs Outreach U19 Squad.

Confidence was high after these first two fixtures but with a number of injuries to players from the original 25 man squad the build up to the first U18 Counties Championship games was far from ideal.

The Championship saw Cornwall lose 29-22 in a frustrating game to Buckinghamshire and then drawing 21-21 with their old foes, Devon.

The fixture against Somerset is a re-arranged game following a change to the U18 CB structured season as dictated by the RFU

The players will be hoping to go out on a positive note, before the coaching team turn their eye on to the U17 group season which begins in earnest on 20th Nov with a squad day at Bodmin RFC.

Squad to play Somerset at St Austell RFC on 6th Nov 16

  • R.Cinnamond (Launceston)
  • C.Degenhardt (St Austell)
  • K.Gratrix (St Austell)
  • G.Sanders (St Ives)
  • C.Dewson (Launceston)
  • L.Barnes (Camborne)
  • J.Clemson (St Ives)
  • C.Teague (Wadebridge)
  • S.Somers (Truro School)
  • A.Connolly (St Austell)
  • P.Bebbington (Launceston)
  • J.Hart (Newquay)
  • K.Whitaker (St Austell)
  • S.Gilder (St Austell)
  • M.Austin (Truro School)
  • A.Simmonds (Newquay)
  • R.Edwards (Launceston)
  • J.Carr (St Austell)
  • R.Heard (Truro School)
  • T.Hawken (Helston)
  • J.Old (Wadebridge)
  • K.Bradley (Helston)
  • J.Wood (Truro School)
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Honours Even In Local Derby

The second and final game for Cornwall in this season's England Counties (SW) U18 Championship saw them face their old rivals, Devon.

With Devon putting Gloucestershire to the sword in their first game of the championship and Cornwall losing in a frustrating game against Buckinghamshire the Devon squad felt confident that they could "get one over" on their Cornish counterparts.

With a number of changes to the squad from the previous week, with players back from injury Cornwall felt this was an opportunity to put right some of the wrongs from the Bucks game.  Unfortunately Cornwall again seem to struggle to get the bus journey out of their system and found themselves 7-0 down in the first 7 mins.  The large Devon pack finding their feet first in the contest.

This reaction from the Cornwall side was impressive and again they began to tighten their grip.  With total dominance in the scrum and with the lineout functioning Cornwall had plenty of possession and created a number of scoring opportunities, however the clinical finish required at this level appeared to have been left behind somewhere on the A30.  To all involved and those supporting how the Cornish lads were not "out of sight".  With the complete dominance in both territory and possession it was only Cornwall's control at the crucial moment that kept Devon in the game. With the large travelling support for both teams camped around the Devon 22 it was obvious who would score next and Cornwall duly obliged with a flowing backs move to score out wide (7-7)

Although easily on top in many facets of the game Cornwall couldn't build on their first score and finished the half all square.

The second half continued and quickly Cornwall began to build phases and the forward dominance led to a second try (14-7)  Unfortunately it appeared the Cornwall dominance in the scrum was about to work against them as Devon ran out of qualified front row players and the game had to move to uncontested scrums.  This allowed Devon to have a platform they hadn't enjoyed earlier in the game.  Allowing the big "back five" to run more freely at the Cornish defence and after a number of narrow attacks and some valiant defence from Cornwall, Devon managed to trundle over under the posts (although the Cornish player placed between the ball and the ground appeared not to count?) (14-14)  

With their new found freedom and their "tails up" Devon managed to score again when after a number of tight phases and the Cornish defence dis organised the Devon scrum half darted through a gap around the break down to score (14-21)

With 10 minutes to go Cornwall again began to build pressure and found themselves camped again in the Devon 22.  Without the ability to tie in the Devon defence due to uncontested scrums Cornwall had to work hard for their third try but powerful driving from the pack led to a break off the maul and a touch down out wide.  With the conversion successful the game was level 21-21.  The final whistle couldn't come quickly enough for Devon but again Cornwall has let a game they had completely dominated get away from them and their failure to convert pressure was frustrating for all.

Two games that were equally winable finished with unfavourable results.  Although ultimately it is about the players performance and as far as South West selection goes the result is immaterial, for the coaches and the players this is definitely two games that were there for the taking.

 Squad against Devon

  1. Callum Degenhardt (St Austell)
  2. Callum Dewson (Launceston)
  3. Kyle Gratrix (St Austell)
  4. Jake Clemson (St Ives) (C)
  5. Cory Teague (Wadebridge)
  6. Noah Stanier-Smith (Camborne)
  7. Josh Hart (Newquay)
  8. Keane Whitaker (St Austell)
  9. Sam Gilder (St Austell)
  10. Jack Old (Wadebridge)
  11. Jake Carr (St Austell)
  12. Tom Hawken (Helston)
  13. Reuben Edwards (Launceston)
  14. Kyle Bradley (Helston)
  15. Johnny Wood (Truro School)
  16. Rory Cinnamond (Launceston)
  17. George Sanders (St Ives)
  18. Luke Barnes (Camborne)
  19. Archie Connolly (St Austell)
  20. Peter Bebbington (Launceston)
  21. Mike Austin (Truro School)
  22. Aaron Simmonds (Newquay)
  23. Rory Heard (Truro School)
 
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  • Cornwall Rugby Football Union Ltd
    The Cornwall Rugby Football Union was formed in 1883 and operated until 2009 as an unincorporated body when it registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965 becoming Cornwall Rugby Football Union Limited. Clubs affiliated to Cornwall Rugby Football Union Limited are Members with representatives of each club in…