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‘Kess’ Returns to His Roots

Posted: June 1, 2021
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‘Kess’ Returns to His Roots

Ten years after he first joined the Cornish Pirates in 2011, having signed a one-year contract former scrum-half Tom Kessell will be making a welcome to the club for the 2021/22 season.

Cornishman Tom, aged 31, who made 112 appearances and scored 33 tries before his departure in 2015 to join Northampton Saints, will be joining from Bristol Bears.

Looking forward to welcoming Tom back, Cornish Pirates’ joint head coach Gavin Cattle has said:

We are delighted to be welcoming back Kess who has been a very good Pirate in the past. The strengths and benefits he can bring to us are obviously well known, with the benefit now of having a lot of experience behind him.

Tom also commented:

Naturally, I am very excited to get back to the Pirates where my rugby career started – including at minis level!

I have a lot of great memories and, looking forward to seeing everyone at the Mennaye very soon, I can’t wait to make many more.

More About Tom

Year of Birth 1990
Birthplace Truro
Height 6′ (1.83m)
Weight 14st 2lbs (90kg)
Position Scrum-half
Honours England Counties

Born in Truro and raised in Hayle, Tom is proudly a ‘Cornish boy’ who has many friends and family members who live in West Cornwall.

Tom started his rugby career with the Pirates back in 1995, playing for the club’s youngest mini-rugby side, so when he signed for the Cornish Pirates in April 2011, he was naturally looking forward to the 2011-12 season to play for the senior team.

Due to family work commitments, Tom moved to Somerset in the late 1990s and joined Wells RFC, playing for their minis section. He then joined Bath and played for them at all ages up to youth and the Academy.

Tom’s senior career started when he turned 18 and joined Bridgwater & Albion, playing in National League 3 South for the final three months of the season. In 2008 he joined Newbury, who played in the old National League 1, and he scored his first try for the ‘Blues’ in a game against Coventry. A year later the chance arose to move to Plymouth Albion to play in the newly formed Championship.

Selection for the England Counties team saw Tom tour Canada in 2010, when he started in two of the three games. Also, as a bonus, he was delighted to score a try in each match. Pulling on an England jersey was a massive honour, and it also importantly provided a good learning curve.

In his first spell with the Pirates, Tom enjoyed playing in front of the very knowledgeable and passionate Mennaye Field crowd, plus he had the honour of skippering the side on a couple of occasions. He also played for a selected Championship XV against Canada in November 2014 and at the end of that season was selected in the Greene King IPA Championship ‘Dream Team’.

During his time at Northampton Saints, he made 22 appearances, besides being a regular performer for the Northampton Wanderers side that enjoyed Aviva ‘A’ League trophy success. In 2018 he joined Coventry where he made 41 appearances before, nearing the end of the 2019/20 Premiership campaign, he firstly signed a short-term deal with Bristol Bears to conclude that season, and then a one-year contract with them for 2020/21. Tom has to date made 16 appearances for Bristol, including when he was briefly on loan there from the Pirates nearing the end of the 2014/15 season.

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