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On a Training Day at Hayle RFC on Thursday, during 3 x 20 minutes sessions the Cornish Pirates went head to head with Premiership side Bristol Bears.
A good-sized crowd turned up to watch the two squads in action – the visitors littered with international performers – and both impressed during a fully committed display of rugby action.
Speaking post the event, Cornish Pirates’ Director of Rugby Chris Stirling said:
After 15 weeks of whacking into each other during pre-season, it’s been nice to whack into someone else, and especially against opposition with such a size and presence about it.
Getting what we wanted out of the session, I thought physically we came through extremely well, matching them in areas of carrying, clean and tackle.
Naturally there was disappointment that we picked up a couple of injuries, especially because the players have put in so much work, but other than that it was a good platform to launch off.
Again, we must thank Hayle for making available their wonderful facility, the club having gone above and beyond in accommodating the Pirates and welcoming us to their ground this year. Training and playing on a lovely surface Bristol were also impressed and we all got to see some good rugby.
From a Bristol Bears perspective, their Director of Rugby, Pat Lam, commented:
We returned to Cornwall to face the Pirates because they have quality coaches and are a good bunch of guys. Also, as expected, the training session was excellent for us. It was a really good physical workout and wanting that physical hit they fully tested us.
You can do all the training, conditioning and fitness but you need to feel body on body and bone on bone, and that’s what we got ahead of our opening game away to Harlequins in the Premiership Rugby Cup.
A couple of days or so in Cornwall, staying at Trevedra Farm’s camp site on the south west tip of England has provided a great experience. The hospitality of the Pirates and everyone down here is great.
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Confirming the names of eight players who will not be with the Cornish Pirates next season
The Cornish Pirates can confirm that wing Alex O’Meara has again put pen to paper