CORNISH Pirates Director of Rugby Ian Davies may be expecting a fight to keep hold of Tom Kessell but the scrum-half insists he’s more concerned with honouring his club as part of the Championship XV against Canada.
The 24-year-old has earned selection alongside Pirates team mate Darren Barry by coaches Kevin Maggs and Martin Haag as part of the Championship select team to take on Canada at Sixways on November 2.
Their call up prompted Davies to express his belief that both players will attract interest from Premiership clubs next summer but Kessell is remaining focused on starting for the Championship XV next month.
Kessell could find himself lining up against familiar faces with Pirates boasting two Canadian internationals in Aaron Carpenter and Matt Evans and he’s relishing the chance to gain a unique experience of international rugby while making his club proud.
“It’s a massive honour and I’m very much looking forward to the game,” said Kessell. “It’s great to see the Championship XV concept come back as it provides a fantastic opportunity for players from our league to play at that high standard.
“I’m not sure what to expect from Canada but at the Pirates we’ve got Aaron and Matt, who both played for them in the last World Cup, so it’ll be a tough game.
“I’ll go along to the training camp, put my head down and hopefully get selected. It would be amazing to get a great crowd down and show off the talent in the Championship.
“I hadn’t heard what Ian said about Premiership clubs looking at me – obviously I want to try and play as high as I can but right now I’m trying my best for Pirates and if any opportunity comes up, we’ll have to see.”
Kessell’s form has been a bright spot for the Pirates this season during a mixed start to their campaign that sees them currently lying tenth in the Greene King IPA Championship.
Yet following two consecutive league wins against Moseley and Doncaster, Kessell is confident his side are still capable of improving on last season’s sixth-place finish.
And despite a narrow 29-25 to Doncaster in the British & Irish Cup at the weekend, the scrum-half insists both competitions remain a realistic target for the Pirates this year.
“At our level there are only two opportunities to win trophies so we are going for it on both fronts, in the cup and in the league,” he added.
“Those last two wins in the league were massive because we had a really tough start. We worked on some things in pre-season and we’re starting to see the progress in our game.
“The Championship has improved a lot since I first played in it and it’s now very tough for any side to win away from home.
“We have the same focus despite our start and still want to get into the top four. Nothing really changes so we’ll just keep plugging away and the results will come.”
Sixways Stadium Worcester
Sunday November 2nd
Kick Off 15:15
Tickets are available from
The Sixways Box Office
By Phone 01905 459309.
Premium Seating £15
Adult Standard £10
Junior Standard £5
Car Parking £5 (must be bought in advance)