Photo, by Simon Bryant: Camborne parade three of their new signings Leigh Hocking (middle), Brad Howe & Joel Matavesi
Despite his preoccupation with Cornwall’s County Championship campaign, Camborne’s new Director of Rugby Ian Morgan has wasted little time in adding to his squad for next season’s National League 3 SW campaign, reports Bill Hooper from the Recreation Ground.
The Cherry and Whites announced last Wednesday, 18th May, the arrival of five new signing for next season, although three are faces already familiar at the Recreation Ground.
Utility back Joel Matavesi returns to his former club after a season in West Wales with the Ospreys. Cornish Pirates Player Development Foundation player Tommy-Lee Southworth, capable of playing at either prop or hooker, returns for a second season at the Rec, whilst prop Leigh Hocking makes a welcome return to rugby following a serious injury that has kept him sidelined for the best part of eighteen months.
The two other players to put pen to paper are: former Cornish Pirates PDF player back rower Brad Howe, who has spent the past two seasons playing at Redruth, where he picked up the prestigious Roy Jennings Cup for the most improved player at the club’s end of season awards ceremony held recently; and winger Tu Roko Kurusasa, a player with a superb 7’s and Rugby League pedigree. Kurusasa has represented the Royal Navy in League playing against New Zealand, Australia, Estonia and the RAF. He’s also played in the successful Capio Eggs 7’s squad where he was coached by Morgan, playing alongside Camborne’s Richie Kevern and Taron Peacock.
The youngest of the three Matavesi brothers, Joel, feels that he is returning to Camborne at just the right time: “I think it’s an exciting time for the club that’s clearly going in the right direction and with the squad we are building I feel we could possibly push on again. There is a huge buzz at the club we are all looking forward to pre-season and getting into the side.”
For Brad Howe, the promise of playing in the back row at Camborne was the incentive he needed to sign for the Cherry and Whites: “When I spoke with Ian Morgan I was excited by the prospects at Camborne. Ian wants to use me in my preferred role in the back row and that’s where I really want to play. It was difficult to get into the Redruth back row with the high calibre of players they had there and I feel now that I really need to develop my game in that position to be able to improve as a player.”
Ian Morgan feels that his new signings will strengthen his options going into the new league campaign, which they will open at home against Cleve: “I think these are excellent signings that complement the squad already in place, three of the boys are Camborne lads so they will feel right at home.
“Tommy-Lee is a fine prospect he has the ability to play right across the front row and that is a key asset for us over a long hard season.
“Brad Howe is a player I’ve had my eye on for a while, he’s had limited opportunities at Redruth playing in the back row and he really wants to play there and I am looking forward to seeing him in action for us.
“Joel Matavesi will need no introduction. He knows the club through and through, he’s obtained good experience with the Ospreys and at Neath and that will hopefully rub off on the boys here.”
When asked about any further additions to the squad Morgan replied: “Potentially one more player, probably in the backs, I am happy with the squad I have here now. It’s a good young squad with a lot of talent and experience. It can be counter-productive to tinker too much with a squad.”