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Trio of deals confirmed

Posted: May 12, 2022
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The latest good news from the Cornish Pirates confirmed three further deals for the 22/23 season, with Will Gibson and Shae Tucker signing new deals and a first contract for Steele Barker.


Young backrower Will Gibson has signed another one-year contract.

Now aged 22, Will was Portsmouth-born but raised in Cornwall. He started his rugby at the age of six for Helston and is also a former Penryn player who has in the past played for Exeter Chiefs under 18s, Truro College and Cornwall under 20s. A captain of Cardiff Metropolitan University in 2020/21, he had also been the BUCS Fans Player of the Year in 2019/20.

In his first season with the Cornish Pirates, Will has to date made 12 appearances for the club, besides having had game time at Plymouth Albion to aid his development in the senior game.

Commenting with reference to Will once again signing for the Cornish Pirates, joint head coach Alan Paver said:

“Will has been incredible during his short time with us. He came out of university with a fine reputation, but until you see such players regularly you really have no idea of how good they can be.

“When he arrived, we knew he would need game time and exposure, so he had a spell at Plymouth Albion where he displayed his development potential and skill right away. He did it week in and week out, and showing massive commitment gained deserved game time and impressed for us.

Alan added:

“We are very pleased that Will has signed for once again, as we see him as one for the future who will be a Pirate for many years to come.”


Centre Shae Tucker has signed a one-year contract.

Now aged 26, Kiwi Shae joined the Cornish Pirates in 2019 and has to date made 38 appearances for the club.

Raised in Napier, he played junior rugby from an early age for the Taradale rugby club and in his youth represented Hawkes Bay at all age grades, besides playing three years for the successful Napier Boys’ High School 1st XV and playing for Hurricanes Secondary Schools.

After he headed south to study at Otago University, Shae made 50 appearances for their side and was also honoured to represent the Otago Sevens team (2015/16), New Zealand Universities (2016), North Otago (2016 – in the NZ Heartland Championship), North Harbour (2017 – in the Mitre 10 Cup), and Hawkes Bay Magpies (2018 – in the Mitre 10 Cup).

Injury frustrated Shae during his first year with the Cornish Pirates, restricting him to making just nine appearances for the club. However, returning to fitness, and after a spell on loan at Redruth, he really took his chances to impress – as he has again these past two seasons.

Seeing Shae as a very useful performer for the Cornish Pirates, joint head coach Gavin Cattle has said:

“Shae plays mainly at 12 but also at 13, which gives us some flexibility and is always good to have.

“His point of difference is his physicality to break the gain line, as one of the players in the Championship who is a genuine basher, that again gives us a different dimension.”


Next to sign a one-year contract with the Cornish Pirates for the 2022/23 season is lock forward Steele Barker.

Aged 21, the Yorkshire-born former Durham School pupil, who has just finished studying at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus, started playing men’s rugby at Penryn and then for Redruth where has impressed as a regular performer this season. Also suitably registered with the Cornish Pirates, he has to date made four appearances.

Pleased with what he has thus far witnessed of Steele, Cornish Pirates’ joint head coach Alan Paver has said:

“Steele has done the hard work week in week out this past year, training with us and also the Reds where he has played a high level of National league rugby.

“We see a promising young player like Steele, who has also played in the back row, as being someone who is in it for the long haul and will be a huge part of what we’ll be doing going forward. He showed what he can do in the game away to Bedford last weekend, so we are again very pleased.”