LAUNCESTON joint head coach Ian Goldsmith admits the incentive of playing at Twickenham will drive his side on as they start their Papa Johns Community Cup campaign tomorrow with a trip to Barnstaple (2.30pm).

The All Blacks have been placed in Pool Three of the Regional One Championship where they will also face Oxford Harlequins and Banbury with just one side going through to the semi-finals.

While Barnstaple are a well-known commodity having played them twice in Regional One South West this season, their other opponents are not.

However, with three games to play, Goldsmith is trying to keep things as normal as possible.

He said: “In some ways nothing really changes as we’re effectively in a mini league.

“It’s almost like playing the top teams in our league three weeks on the bounce, but hopefully we can get the sort of results we did in the autumn against them, as opposed to in the spring.”

To get through will take some effort. While Barum finished second to Launceston’s fifth, the two Oxfordshire clubs have had contrasting fortunes.

The Harlequins were promoted to National League rugby after accruing 96 points with just three defeats from their 22 games, while Banbury were eighth with 10 wins and a draw from their 22 outings.

Goldsmith continued: “We quite like the way it’s worked out in that first up we are a team we’re familiar with in Barnstaple, before we host the best team of the four in Oxford Harlequins and then go to Banbury.

“But we know that a lot relies on this weekend and getting off to a good start.”

Launceston head up to Pottington Road tomorrow to a Barum side who won the league fixture in North Devon 26-8, a scoreline which didn’t reflect the closeness of the contest.

Goldsmith said: “Until we had a yellow card after about 50 minutes, we were right in the game at Barnstaple in February.

“We were in good shape and were doing everything we needed to be doing, but that yellow card resulted in them scoring twice, which in the end proved too difficult to overcome.”

Launceston rounded off their league season with a 46-31 victory over Ivybridge last weekend, and Goldsmith and joint head coach Ryan Westren have made just one change to the starting 15.

He said: “The only player unavailable from last Saturday is Tom Bottoms, but Lloyd (Duke) is back and available, so he’ll be on the bench with Brandon fit enough to come in at number eight and Charlie Tummon switching to flanker.

“We’re allowed to use seven subs, but we’re going to take five as we think that’s enough as we don’t want to muddle our thinking.

“As well as Lloyd coming back in, we could give debuts to the Redwood twins, Ollie and James, who have been impressing in the seconds. Ollie is also a flanker, while James is a back.”

Barnstaple won 18 and lost just four of their 22 games, one of which was a defeat to Launceston, but still finished six points behind champions Devonport Services.

Goldsmith added: “Everyone knows that Barnstaple are very good up front, but we matched them there last time, and this time we have a stronger backline on paper than we did then, and we feel we can cause them problems.

“We have given away a few too many penalties recently, so we really need to make sure we don’t do it on Saturday, particularly early on.”

While getting through the group stage is the initial target, the final will be played at the national stadium at Twickenham in London on Saturday, May 11.

Last year Launceston reached the final of the Regional One Plate competition, losing to the Wirral at Sixways Stadium in Worcester.

Goldsmith concluded: “It was an incredible experience last year playing at a former Premiership ground at Worcester, and if we could get through to Twickenham it’d be superb as every player wants to have a run out there.

“Ryan (Westren) and perhaps a couple of our players at age group level have, but for the rest of us it’s really good motivation for the competition.”

LAUNCESTON: James Tucker, Ollie Bebbington, Ben Bryant, Cam Fogden, Jamie Chapman, Todd Crofts, Tom Sandercock (capt); Mitch Hawken, Levent Bulut, Alex Bartlett, Dan Goldsmith, Albert Horne, Charlie Tummon, George Bone, Brandon Rowley. Replacements: Ethan Pearce-Cowley, Ollie Redwood, Lloyd Duke, Jack Statton, James Redwood.