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The Cornish Pirates can confirm that Assistant Coach and former player Chris Morgan has left the club to take up the role of Academy Forwards & Transitioning Coach with Premiership side Worcester Warriors.
Bristol-born Chris, aged 39, who played for Bristol Shoguns when the Pirates made their debut in the old National One at the Memorial Stadium back in 2003, enjoyed a brief loan spell at the Pirates in 2005-06 before in 2008 joining the club from the then strong Newbury side.
During his time playing time with the Cornish Pirates, the former England under 21s backrower, who has also represented the Barbarians, amassed 227 appearances. He featured in the club’s 2010 British & Irish Cup success against Munster and in Championship finals reached in 2011 and 2012. Always an inspirational performer, he also captained the side for four seasons ahead of taking up an Assistant Coach role in 2018.
Cornish Pirates’ joint Head Coach Gavin Cattle has understandably spoken highly of Chris, saying:
“Morgs is a fantastic human, who has not only been a great servant to the club but has also been a great friend to Paves (Alan Paver) and I.
“As a player what he did for the team was understated. His fellow players knew how much he was committed and that he was a real grafter, and he will naturally be a big loss. However, such opportunities have to be taken when they come along, and if someone deserves to succeed in rugby then it is him.”
“Yes, we have heavy hearts, and we know it was a difficult decision for someone has always displayed energy and has been task focused in all that he does. Leaving a big hole to fill, he at the same time is going with our blessing and we wish him and his family well.
As for Chris himself, he has commented:
“Having carefully considered the opportunity, I ultimately felt it is a good time for me in my development – a sort of ‘if not now, when?’ moment.
“My role will see me working with the 18 to 23 age group, including a lot of dual registration players, and it should be very similar to what we have done here at the Pirates for a long time. I will also be working with their Forwards Coach, Mark Irish, a former playing colleague in the past, including at Bristol.”
Looking back on his time in Cornwall, Chris also said:
“I have many good memories, including the great times I had when first arriving on loan and meeting Gav (Gavin Cattle) and Paves (Alan Paver), and Simon Raynes (Strength & Conditioning Coach) who I also got on well with.
“The years playing when Chris Stirling, Ian Davies and Harvey Biljon were at the helm brought success, as with great players we won the British & Irish Cup and reached two Championship finals. Ian was here for a long period, and I learnt a lot from him, whilst since then I have seen how Gav and Paves have progressed in their coaching roles and appreciated how they made me feel comfortable and helped me grow coaching wise.
“Meeting so many committed people over the years has been a pleasure, including ground staff stalwarts such as John Gendall and Bezzy (the late Dave Berryman), and not forgetting Dicky Evans. There have also been many great players past and present, plus the supporters have been magnificent. For them during the past 18 months I have felt so sorry, as they missed their live rugby and of course the historic Saracens game. The Mennaye is awesome when it is full of people, which is something to always look forward to, so hopefully that will happen for everyone quite soon.”