Cornish rugby clubs deserve your support on a fascinating weekend
To all Cornish men, women and children – please forget the beach and support your local rugby clubs this weekend.
Today and tomorrow promise to be two fantastic days for Cornish rugby as Redruth host the Cornish All Blacks today and then Cornish Pirates take on Plymouth Albion at Mennaye Field tomorrow.
Rob Cook's return to the Pirates on loan only adds to the intrigue. It will be great to see him again, of course, but it would have been even better to see him starting for his Premiership side Gloucester against London Irish instead.
Full-back Cook more than deserved his move to the top flight after three fantastic seasons with the Pirates.
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He was involved in two of the Cherry & Whites' pre-season friendlies, starting their first against Leinster before featuring as a replacement against Cardiff Blues.
However, Jonny May was preferred at full-back for their opening Premiership game against Northampton Saints last weekend.
Just as Cook finds himself back in a Pirates shirt once more after Grant Pointer dislocated his shoulder last weekend, similar opportunities can arise at Gloucester.
Cook's return sets up a fascinating derby with Plymouth Albion tomorrow. Pirates' lengthy injury list perhaps gave Albion hope in changing a miserable record in Cornwall.
They are looking for their first win in the Duchy for more than four years.
Both sides won their first Championship games of the season against Jersey and Doncaster Knights, respectively, so it is perfectly poised tomorrow.
However, it is a first trip to the Recreation Ground this weekend that will truly set Cornish pulses racing.
On face value, it would seem as though Redruth are slight favourites. Their new head coach Adrian Edwards is renowned for getting teams in fantastic physical shape at the start of a new season.
This will be a big factor on what could be a hot and sunny day in West Cornwall. The Reds also made a very positive start to their National League Two South season by beating Taunton away from home.
The latter part is arguably the most significant element. Redruth have struggled terribly on their travels in recent seasons, so who knows what they will now be capable of within the inspiring confines of the Recreation Ground.
The All Blacks, meanwhile, have consistently no fear in travelling to Redruth. Their new head coach Spike Rainford has maintained a similar make-up to the squad, so they will be a threat, despite losing at home to newly-promoted Chinnor last weekend.
Although both clubs have struggled in recent seasons, dropping down a league and suffering with less financial backing from the RFU, they have each responded in the right way.
Both squads will contain a lot of local talent. Many of the players will have worked their way through the clubs' youth and development teams.
There is so much to look forward for Cornish rugby supporters this weekend and all the clubs concerned deserve as much support as possible.