Pirates rescue Currie as cup tie switched to Penzance

Currie's British & Irish Cup opener against the Cornish Pirates will go ahead this Saturday with the encounter having been switched to Penzance.

The holders were supposed to be travelling to Edinburgh to play in the cross-border event, but, with Malleny Park unlikely to be playable, Currie have chartered a plane to take the squad south.

The playing party and officials will leave Edinburgh early on Saturday morning and fly to Newquay, returning that evening after taking on the English Championship side at Westholme at 2pm in Pool A.

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Currie president John Muir said: "We are disappointed not to be playing the match at home, but, with the weather we have had, it was not going to be possible. The Cornish Pirates have offered to pay for our flights down south, so we believe the best thing is to get down there and play the match. The players are looking forward to playing at this level and have been training hard indoors with Ally Donaldson."

A Cornish Pirates spokesman confirmed the switch and believes there will be no problems with the pitch for Saturday.

Meanwhile, Ayr's Pool D opener also looks set to go ahead at Pontypridd. Ayr president Billy McHarg said: "We will be flying down for the match on Friday and the guys are looking forward to Saturday. We have also just acquired some pitch coverings so that we can ensure next week's home match with Llandovery gets the go ahead."

Melrose's home encounter with Munster in Pool B is causing the most concern. Players, members and volunteers from Borders College were clearing the Greenyards pitch of snow yesterday but, if it is not playable, Gala's Netherdale and even Ayr's Millbrae are on standby. A decision will be made today with Munster set to travel tomorrow.