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The Cornish Pirates can confirm names of 24 x players still in contract from the end of this past season. 19 of them are contracted to the 31st May 2021, and five, namely Jean-Baptist Bruzulier, Harry Davey, Callum Patterson, Javier Rojas Alvarez, and Jay Tyack are contracted to the 31st May 2022.
Contracts for certain other squad members have pleasingly been finalised or are in the process of being completed, so expect announcements reference these in the coming days.
For the present, however, the list of 24 x in contract players is as follows:
All but an ‘ever present’ in recent seasons, Cornishman Jack, aged 29, is a truly experienced prop forward and squad member who by the end of the 2019/20 season had taken his games tally to 168 – comfortably more than anyone else in the squad.
Back-rower Matt has impressed during his years at the Pirates and was a proud recipient of the Players’ Player of the Year trophy at the end of the 2018/19 season. Now just six shy of the 100 games milestone, he will charged and ready for a return to rugby action.
Having signed for the Cornish Pirates in May 2019, injuries unfortunately disrupted scrum half JB’s first season with the Cornish Pirates. However, in making nine appearances (all starts), and scoring two tries, the former Wales 7s player impressed.
A product of Perranporth’s youth section, and still aged just 20, wing/full-back AJ has proved an exciting prospect in his first three seasons associated with the Pirates. He has made 37 appearances for the club besides initially enjoying development time at Redruth.
In five seasons, fly-half Will has not only accumulated 110 appearances for the Cornish Pirates but in the process has amassed 576 points. The ‘Sportsman of the Year’ for 2018/19, he was also this past season deservedly chosen as ‘Clubman of the Year’.
Watford-born Danny is a young lock forward of potential who has displayed an excellent attitude during his two seasons with the Pirates. A good personality around the team, whose game has really developed well, he has made a total of 44 appearances.
After signing for the Cornish Pirates in May 2019, Harry was unluckily hampered with injuries in his first season in Cornwall. However, playing on the wing the bright young talent still made seven appearances, besides also gaining important game time at Redruth.
A former Wales 7s player, who first played rugby from aged five to 18 for his home village club of Crymych in north-east Pembrokeshire, talented scrum half Rhodri has made 15 appearances for the Pirates since joining from the Dragons last summer.
Nicolas De Battista
‘Nico’ gives his all and leaves nothing out on the pitch, so it was frustrating in 2019/20 that injury restricted him to adding just seven more appearances to the 53 accumulated in a previous two seasons spell with the club. Watch out, back to fitness he will be raring to go!
After officially joining the Pirates in 2012, No.8 Tom battled through serious injury setbacks to rebuild his fitness and ultimately truly impress. His overall games tally stands at 124 and in the past four seasons alone he has also notched up an impressive 42 tries.
A former England Counties under 20s and senior player, who last summer joined the Cornish Pirates from Bedford Blues, Hertfordshire-born prop forward Hayden, aged 24, made nine appearances for the club in his first season in Cornwall.
Antonio Kiri Kiri
Injury unfortunately delayed Antonio making his debut for the Cornish Pirates until December. However, once fully fit, in making 13 appearances it did not take long for the former All Blacks 7s player to show his credentials.
A former Samoan international, whether playing either in the second or back rows in his first season with the Cornish Pirates, the experienced Fa’atiga settled in well and displayed a range of skills in making 17 appearances for the club.
Another experienced player, after last summer arriving in Cornwall from Yorkshire Carnegie this Neath-born former Welsh international tight-head prop made a total of 16 appearances for the Cornish Pirates in his first season with the club.
Cornishman Kyle suffered an unfortunate ACL knee injury early last year. However, returning to action in December his running skills soon excited the crowd once again, and in making 10 more appearances he took his games tally for the club to 136.
In his first two years in Cornwall, Ballymena-born centre Callum has made 46 appearances for the Cornish Pirates and scored 15 tries, 12 of which were recorded in a past campaign that also saw him deservedly named as ‘Player of the Year’.
Cheshire-born and raised, in the summer of 2019 prop forward Sam joined the Cornish Pirates on a two-year contract. A former England Students player who was born in Macclesfield, he made a total of 13 appearances for the club in his first season.
Javier Rojas Alvarez
Playing mainly at fly-half, in two seasons with the Cornish Pirates former Argentina international Javier has shown his calibre as a versatile and very able performer who has settled in well. Making 42 appearances for the club, he has also scored 279 points.
A former Wales under 18s player, scrum half Alex joined the Cornish Pirates from RGC – Rygbi Gogledd Cymru – in the summer of 2018. Able to bring tempo to a game, he quickly bedded in and in his first two seasons in Cornwall has made a total of 38 appearances.
A product of the club’s youth section, back-rower John first signed for the Cornish Pirates in 2013. He is skilful and as tough as they come, and after initially gaining important development time at Redruth has to date made 66 appearances for the club.
Although injury frustrated Kiwi centre Shae during his first year with the Cornish Pirates, when returning to full fitness he really took his chance to impress in the ‘Coronavirus’ curtailed 2019/20 season that saw him make nine appearances for the club.
Cornwall-born Jay showed real potential as a young tight-head prop forward in an earlier spell with the Pirates, and since returning after developing his play in the National leagues has further impressed this past season in taking his games tally for the club to 21.
Kiwi prop Marlen initially joined the Cornish Pirates in January 2015 on a short-term contract. Soon seen as quite formidable in the scrum and dynamic about the field, he has certainly made his mark as a stalwart performer who has now made 122 appearances.
A former Redruth player, Robin is an excitingly gifted winger who signed for the Cornish Pirates ahead of the 2018/19 season. Physically strong and fast, in his two seasons with the club he has made 45 appearances and scored a total of 28 tries.
Pleased with the present position reference player contracts, CEO Rebecca Thomas has said:
Retaining players and protecting as many jobs as possible has been key over these past few months so it is great news that so many of our existing squad are in place for next season.
We have a very strong group of players with excellent values and playing ability which is a great position to be in going into 2020/21 off the back of these uncertain times.
Joint Head Coach Gavin Cattle also commented:
The confirmation of this many names at this stage is very good news, which is testament to Dicky (Evans) for his incredible loyalty and support during such testing times.
I am also pleased to say that we are in a position where we can offer further contracts to certain squad members. The retention of our current squad has always been the main priority. We are in the process of finalising these players and there is no doubt that going into next season the team will have a settled and familiar strong look about it.
Kernow Model Rail Centre (KMRC) have been a long-term valued sponsor of the Cornish Pirates. All associated with the club will be aware that for many years Chris Morgan was kindly sponsored by the award-winning business, firstly as a player and then as a coach.
Nyns o an gewer y'n myttin rag an kensa fyt kesunyans an seson pur dha gans lewgh ha niwl law, mes warbydn kensa pot an ebron re omglersa ha'n howl a dorras 'mes dhe ry dohajedh perfydh rag rugby.
Devon-born Dan Powell, aged 40, has been appointed Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach at the Cornish Pirates. He will work alongside Head Strength & Conditioning Coach, James Owen.
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 in the shape of hooker James Benjamin and centre Seb Atkinson.