Devon must win to keep alive hopes of promotion back to top tier

tamar9DEVON will be hoping to keep alive their hopes of promotion back to the top flight of county rugby on Saturday when they host North Midlands at Brixham (2.30pm).

The Green and Whites have to win to have any chance of topping Division Two South and reaching Twickenham after their narrow 34-31 defeat at Somerset last weekend.

Devon, who have not won a county match since 2010, will be optimistic after their second half display at Taunton, where they came back from 26-5 down to earn two valuable bonus points, and the fact that North Midlands were crushed 60-17 at home to Surrey last week.

Ivybridge’s Lewis Paterson keeps his place in the centre for Devon but his team-mate Dom Loomes drops down to the bench.

Meanwhile, Saltash back Max Venables is handed his first County Championship start for Cornwall when they travel to Kent hoping to move one step closer to Twickenham.

Cornwall made a great start to their Division One campaign last weekend when they beat Gloucestershire 27-8 away.

Venables is one of two changes to the Duchy team that won at Cinderford, the other is at hooker where former Albion player Jamie Salter comes in.

Saltash star Venables, a former Albion youngster, will start on the wing, with Launceston teenager Billy Searle, who has been linked with a move to Brickfields, keeping his place at full-back for the long trip to Gravesend.

Kyle Marriott continues as Cornwall’s captain after making his debut for the county the previous week.

Cornwall: Billy Searle (Launceston), Max Venables (Saltash), Jake Murphy (Redruth), Nielson Webber (Redruth), Robin Wedlake (Redruth), Lewis Webb (Taunton), Matt Shepherd (Launceston), Rupert Freestone (Clifton), Jamie Salter (Launceston), Craig Williams (Redruth), Tony Whittle (Camborne), Ben Hilton (Launceston), Chris Fuca (Redruth), George Jones (Penryn), Kyle Marriott (Redruth, capt). Reps: Mark Grubb (Wadebridge), Christian Judge (Launceston), Tommy Phillips, James Goldsworthy (Camborne), Richard Friend (Launceston), Sam Parsons (Redruth), Barry-John Chapman (Launceston).

Devon: Olly Massy-Birch (Taunton), Tom Goodman (Brixham), Tom McClean (Brixham), Lewis Paterson (Ivybridge), Dean Squire (Brixham). Joe Simmonds (Teignmouth), Jordan Petherbridge (Barnstaple), Russell Morris (Brixham), Dean Avery (Newton Abbot), Mark Manton (Taunton), Ben Turner (Taunton), Matt Templeton (Newton Abbot), Scott Puleston (Brixham), Rob Parsons (Teignmouth), Matt Gohl (Barnstaple). Reps: Chey Bryce (Brixham), Nick Halse (New Cross), Dom Loomes (Ivybridge), Jack Rouse (Exmouth), Declan Sexton (Brixham), Jack Faulkner (Taunton), Matt Crosscombe (Brixham).


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