CORNWALL will only be able to call on one-third of their successful 2016 County Championship winning team for their opening match of the 2017 campaign against Surrey at Richmond on Saturday.
The only survivors from the Duchy side that impressively beat Cheshire at Twickenham last May to secure back-to-back titles are Craig Williams, Tony Whittle, Jake Murphy, Robin Wedlake and Lewis Vinnicombe.
Billy Searle, like Christian Judge, is no longer eligible, while Tom Cowan-Dickie, Rupert Freestone, Herbie Stupple, Matt Shepherd, Ben Hilton, Kyle Marriott, Sam Matavesi, Greg Goodfellow and Nielson Webber are all unavailable for various reasons.
The Cornwall team this year is built around level four and five players, with Redruth and Camborne making up the bulk of the squad.
The Duchy are also not helped by having to play two of their opening three matches away from home.
However, Cornwall, coached by Graham Dawe, are hoping their spirit and impressive support can help them to more success after reaching the last three finals.
“We hope our fantastic support led by Trelawny’s Army and expats from around the country will come out in force at Richmond to lift the guys for this important first game”
Murphy added: “I was asked to captain Cornwall this season is a fantastic honour and I am really proud to be given the role.
Cornwall chair Denis Preece added: “The first game is important to get the campaign off on a positive footing.
“Surrey v Cornwall games are always keenly fought affairs. I would like to say thank you to Graham (Dawe), Marek (Churcher), Rhodri (McAtee), the selectors and our strength and conditioning coach Tristan Lark, for their efforts during the build up to this season’s campaign.”
CORNWALL TEAM TO PLAY SURREY 6 MAY 2017
1 Tommy Phillips (Redruth)
2 Richard Brown (Redruth)
3 Craig Williams (Redruth)
4 Bryn Jenkins (Barnstaple)
5 Tony Whittle (Camborne)
6 Chris Fuca (Redruth)
7 George Jones (Penryn)
8 Barry-John Chapman (Redruth)
9 Jack Oulton (Redruth)
10 David Mankee (Camborne)
11 Robin Wedlake (Plymouth Albion)
12 Jake Murphy (capt, Barnstaple)
14 Lewis Vinnicombe (Redruth)
15 Joe Elderkin (Redruth)
17 Dominic Connor (Brixham)
18 Brad Howe (Redruth)
19 Andruis Zacharias (Camborne)
20 Grant Randlesome (Penryn)
21 Tom Notman (Camborne)
22 Jack Simmons (Camborne)
23 Sean Buzza (Redruth)
24 Declan Matthews (Redruth)
25 Richard Friend (Okehampton)