There is bound to be added interest this season in the fortunes of Cornwall’s premier rugby club from the Penryn club as two of their own are set to help the Cornish Pirates campaign in both the Championship and the British & Irish Cup.
Head coach Ian Davies knows a thing or two about checking out rugby talent both near and far and whilst he had his eye on prop Jamal Ford-Robinson for a while, many were surprised when he signed up Penryn’s promising lock Ben Trevaskis this summer.
However, Ben, son of former Penryn player and coach Paul Trevaskis, has been catching the eye with his performances for Penryn that led to his opportunity to sign for the Pirates.
The chance to go down to the Pirates was one that his home town club and his employers, Blue Flame, urged him to grasp with their blessings and backing.
Just prior to the Pirates’ first home pre-season game with Rosslyn Park I managed to catch up with Ben to see how he’d settled in to life a professional player. He said. “I feel that I’ve settled in well down here, it’s a big step up from Penryn and from training just two evenings a week to training every day but everyone has made me feel welcome down here and I feel I’ve fitted in well.
“The daily training has taken a bit of getting used to, the physicality of the sessions and pace is big step up from at Penryn, and to start with I felt spent but as I get more used to it I am finding it more comfortable to cope with.
Ben’s keen to see how far he can go this season and having got his first pre-season game under his belt at St. Austell last week he’s keen to progress further. “I hope to get myself in the mix for some of the Championship games as well as the British and Irish Cup matches, it’s a constant learning curve here which makes it all the more exciting but the aim this season is to learn and improve myself as best I can.
Ben hopes that his progression to the Pirates can be a beacon for other youngsters in the Falmouth/Penryn area, that they to, with hard work can catch the eye and get a chance.
There’s a bit of a Borough corner down the Mennaye this season with Jamal Ford-Robinson, Alex Ducker and Ben
“I played minis and juniors with Jamal at Penryn and he was in my tutor group at Penryn College and he’s a good mate and of course Alex was with us down at Penryn before returning to Camborne last season so it’s been good to have people I know being down here to help me fit in.
And when Ben gets home he conceded that father was waiting for a de-brief on the day’s events. “When I get home Dad want’s to know what I’ve been doing in fine detail, he’s proud of what I’ve managed to achieve and with him not coaching at the moment he’s got time to take plenty of interest.
Talking of Jamal I managed to speak to him after him after his home debut for the Cornish Pirates in the pre-season win over Rosslyn Park on Saturday.
Jamal came on as a replacement at half-time for Adam Jamieson and had a good forty minutes on the Mennaye pitch.
It was a great breakthrough season for the young prop last season which saw him capped for England Counties at both senior and Under 20 level as well as being one of the stars of Cornwall’s run in the County Championship and scoring a memorable try in the final at Twickenham.
On life down at the Mennaye. “I am loving it down here, I’ve been here since the beginning of July and settled in really well, the boys are a real good bunch and I’ve been made to feel really welcome. Looks like I am having some good banter with the crowd down on the “Naughty Boy’s Corner” so it’s all good.
Having been through Leicester Tiger’s Academy Jamal is used to the pressurised environment of professional rugby. “I was used to the training at the Academy but obviously it’s step up from last season at Cambridge and the physicality of the training here, it’s a massive step up from National League 2 South to the Championship but I will give it my best.
“Pre-season’s been good and we all enjoyed our trip to the Isles of Scilly and then last week to Guernsey where we a good game against the local side.
“I think the benefits of that showed in the game today, especially during the first half when we played some good rugby, but I think the second half showed that we still have some areas to work on but that’s what pre-season is all about.
And Jamal is keen to learn all he can from Ian Davies and Alan Paver about the art of scrummaging. “It’s one of the main reasons I came down here, I had a week with Paves out in Georgia with England Counties in June and I think they can help school me in the “dark arts” and it’s something I am really looking forward to.
“I just hope the preparation goes well so that I can be in the mix for the opening games of the Championship season we’ve got some great lads here and with Paul Andrew back at the club after his stint in the Premiership with Worcester places in the match day twenty-two are going to be tough to nail down.”