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At a time when the Cornish Pirates could do with a little back up in certain positions, the squad has been boosted by the arrival of two gifted new faces.
Hooker James Benjamin, aged 27, has arrived this week on loan from Welsh regional side the Dragons. Formerly a backrower, the ball-playing forward and Wales sevens international has in the past year transitioned to move up into the front row to wear the number ‘2’ shirt.
Newport-born, he has made 65 appearances for the Dragons following his debut as a flanker against Wasps at Rodney Parade in 2013, plus he has also represented Wales under 20s and made appearances for Premiership sides Cross Keys and Bedwas.
Commenting on the arrival of James, Cornish Pirates’ joint head coach Alan Paver said:
“The arrival of James at this present time works well for us. We have a good working relationship with the Dragons, and he has been identified as someone who has potential to fill the role well.
“We are excited and looking forward to working with him and to see what he has got. I am sure he will do us proud and that we will be able to further aid his development. He will also, no doubt, be warmly welcomed by supporters.”
The second new arrival is that of Worcester Warriors centre Seb Atkinson, who has joined the club as a dual registered player.
An England under 20s squad member this year, the 19-year-old featured for the Warriors against the Pirates in their 24-21 win at the Mennaye Field last Saturday.
Seb began playing rugby aged seven at Luctonians RFC in Herefordshire. He joined the Worcester Academy in 2014 and captained Bromsgrove School to the Rosslyn Park Vase in 2019.
After captaining the Warriors to third place in the 2019/20 Premiership Rugby under 18s Academy League, he joined the senior academy at Sixways in the summer of 2020.
Looking forward to working with their latest recruit, Cornish Pirates’ joint head coach Gavin Cattle has said:
“Seb is a young and exciting talent who has a very mature rugby brain, is a quick learner, and communicates well. A good lad, he should quickly settle in, and as a welcome member of our squad I am looking forward to working with him.”
“We saw him in opposition on Saturday, noting that he is also very physical, works well off the ball, and has a good skill set. Coming here with a reputation and an aim to ultimately boost his hopes at Worcester, whilst dual registered he gives us much needed strength in depth. “