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James Gibbons wears Cov’s No.1 shirt tomorrow. (Pic: Nick Meredith)

Coventry Rugby team to face Cornish Pirates

James Gibbons returns to Coventry’s starting line-up when Cornish Pirates are tomorrow’s Greene King IPA Championship visitors to the Butts Park Arena (3pm kick off).

The former Ealing loose head prop, who switches starting and bench roles with Charlie Beech, is named alongside skipper Phil Boulton and former Pirate Darren Dawidiuk in the home front row.

Coventry’s coaching group make further enforced changes in both the second and back rows of their pack.

Former England U20 lock Tom Jubb keeps the shirt vacated by concussion victim James Voss midway through the first half of last week’s round 11 defeat at the hands of Doncaster, while Jack Ram’s unavailability due to to family matters sees Ben Nutley wear the No.7 shirt.

Cov also make one switch behind the scrum, where Junior Bulumakau replaces fellow speedster Max Trimble, who has a slight groin strain, on the right wing.

Otherwise the backline combination that started against the Knights is retained in its entirety.

This means Tony Fenner and Rob Knox combine in the centre outside last week’s try-scorers Pete White and Will Maisey, while James Stokes and David Halaifonua join Bulumakau in the back three.

Back-rowers Ben Adams and Latu Makaafi plus powerful centre Heath Stevens are named among Cov’s replacements alongside scrum half Tom Kessell, who played over 100 games for tomorrow’s visitors between 2011 and 2015.

Coventry Rugby:

  1. James Gibbons
  2. Darren Dawidiuk
  3. Phil Boulton ©
  4. Tom Jubb
  5. George Oram
  6. Dan Faleafa
  7. Ben Nutley
  8. Adam Peters
  9. Pete White
  10. Will Maisey
  11. David Halaifonua
  12. Tony Fenner
  13. Rob Knox
  14. Junior Bulumakau
  15. James Stokes


  1. Scott Tolmie
  2. Charlie Beech
  3. Josh McNulty
  4. Ben Adams
  5. Latu Makaafi
  6. Tom Kessell
  7. Heath Stevens

Watch Rowland Winter speak to BBC C&W’s Alec Blackman about tomorrow’s game below:

Director of rugby Rowland Winter said:

“Pirates are big up front but they play with intent and have some good half backs who put them in the right areas of the park.

“They stick to the game plan and are an efficient side – the challenge for us is breaking that down, forcing errors and putting pressure on them.

“We need to make sure we step up, so this week we’ve gone back to basics a bit and worked on looking after the ball when we are in possession, sticking to the game plan and everyone doing their own job.

“If we put all that together I think we will cause them plenty of problems.”

Advanced tickets for the IPA Greene King Championship clash with Cornish Pirates, preferentially priced at £18 (seated), £15 (standing) and £2 (ages three to 16) are available before 4pm on Friday from the Butts Park Arena ticket office on 02476 231001.

Entry without an advanced ticket is also available on the gate.