Carnegie pick a youthful side for Irish cup showdown

Bryan Redpath
Bryan Redpath
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THEY ARE only two games away from a major final but Yorkshire Carnegie head coach Bryan Redpath has clearly made it known his sights are firmly set on the Championship – and Doncaster Knights next week.

His squad head to London Irish in today’s British & Irish Cup quarter-final but the vast majority of his first-choice players have been rested ahead of the big South Yorkshire derby next Sunday.

Indeed, just three survive from the starting line-up that faced leaders Irish in the 
20-14 Championship defeat at Headingley last Sunday.

Winger Tom Arscott, hooker Mike Mayhew - a former Irish player - and scrum-half Max Green are the ones who do feature again as they quickly line up against the same opposition but it is obvious where Redpath’s priorities lie as they look to keep their promotion bid alive.

Experienced lock Matt Smith comes in to make his 100th appearance for the club, and Oli Goss takes over the captaincy, but the boss has given a number of Carnegie’s academy products the chance to shine, too, as they look to cause a shock and reach the last four.

Those include fly-half Halifax-born full-back Sam Allan, the former England Under-18s international who made his debut in 2014 as well as Leeds-born hooker Jordon Poole who debuted last season in the British & Irish Cup against the Ospreys Premiership Select.

Poole, 19, has made just four replacement appearances for Carnegie so far but has played 13 times for Wharfedale this season on dual-registration.

Another 19-year-old rookie is South African-born Brandon Staples who made his bow earlier this season as a replacement against Bedford Blues in the B&I competition and makes only his second start today.

Also, teenage back-row Lewis Wilson, who hails from York, gets a shot while full-back Louis Brown, who hails from Featherstone and plays for Leeds Beckett University, is set for his debut.

Another looking for his first appearance for the club is fly-half Harry Davey who is first-team captain at Silcoates School in Wakefield and has been involved with England’s Under 18s training squad this campaign.

Lastly, 21-year-old lock Guy Borrowdale, formerly of Sheffield Tigers, is ready for a rare appearance, too, as Carnegie aim to reach the semi-finals for the third time in four years.