The month of March ends on a high as 3 more of the current squad sign aboard again and experienced Championship lock Toby Freeman returns home to Cornwall on a 2 year contract.
The gifted quartet comprises wing Alex O’Meara, scrum-half Alex Day, hooker Tom Channon and a new signing in lock Toby Freeman. Both backs have signed one year contracts and the forwards two year contracts.
Cornishman Freeman, aged 29, is an experienced Championship player who joins from Nottingham.
He started his rugby at Penryn, has played for Exeter Chiefs and for Spanish side Ampo Ordizia, whilst prior to joining Nottingham he had spent a couple of years with Rotherham Titans. In total he has made 79 appearances for the ‘Green & Whites’ of Nottingham, having made his debut in January, 2014.
“The challenge that awaits at the Cornish Pirates is one I am really looking forward to” said Toby.
“The chance to play under a great coaching setup and with a hardworking group of lads is what has drawn me back and I hope to add all I can to the group.
The chance to play in front of my friends and family back home where rugby began for me, as well as in front of the passionate Mennaye faithful, is also very exciting.”
“My thanks also to Nottingham Rugby for all they have done for me during my time at the club. Coaches, players and supporters alike have made my time there both enjoyable and memorable, and I wish everyone all the best.”
Gavin Cattle - speaking on behalf of joint coach Alan Paver - is really pleased to have signed Toby Freeman and said: “Toby is an experienced Championship campaigner. A Cornishman who has impressed us, he is renowned for his work rate, physicality and passion, and we know he is keen to bring these traits with him.”
That O’Meara, Day and Channon have signed new contracts is a further sign of the stability of the squad and takes the number of players announced for next season to 19.
23-year-old Day and O’Meara aged 24 have made 52 and 25 games respectively in their two years with the Pirates. As for hooker Channon, who joined the club from Bristol in 2013, he is just three games short of the 100 games milestone.
Coach Gavin Cattle appreciating the different qualities of each player said:
“Since joining from Northampton, scrum-half Alex Day has been a consistent performer for us these past two seasons, and has shown that he is one of the top 9s in the Championship. He is also a good character within the squad, and as a bit of a joker can lift the mood, which is at times important.
“Wing Alex O’Meara has been one of the most improved players this season, who has worked really hard on the nuts and bolts of his game. His reward has been making a number of starts for us in the Championship, whilst his challenge now is to establish himself and kick on to be a stand out winger.
“Among Tom’s attributes, he gives us a good ball carrying option and he always plays with intensity. Someone who wears his heart on his sleeve, it is obvious to all that he is very passionate about his rugby.”