PRE-SEASON GATHERS PACE

Hard to believe that August is just around the corner, and still we await some decent summer weather to cheer us all up!!!! Clubs up and down the county are preparing for the new season, in what promises to be a very exciting season for many of our Cornish clubs. Derbies are set to abound especially in National League 2, also further down the scale in the Cornwall & Devon League, which this season has no less than five Cornish clubs, great for those who enjoy local encounters, but is it good for Cornish rugby to have so many clubs further down the league structure? No doubt that this debate will run. If you haven’t already done so then check out the RFU site and complete their survey on the future of the game in England you have until the end of July to make your views known.

The ELV’s come into force on the 1st August in Europe various clubs are holding briefing sessions for their members with CRFU rep to the RFU Dave Martin taking the sessions. Redruth have theirs next Thursday.

This weekend sees the Newquay Surf 7’s with a large program of events, which got under way last evening some good rugby is ensured with hopefully some fine weather.

All four of our National League sides have been busy since the end of April recruiting, the Cornish Pirates will once again hope to have a major say in National League 1, which looks to have more than one favourite for promotion to the Premiership this season. Leeds Carnegie will have a strong challenge from the Exeter Chiefs who seem to have signed every player available for the forthcoming season their Tamar Shield squad will be worth watching in it’s-self! The Cornish Pirates have prepared quietly, from a personal viewpoint I very much look forward to seing how their new French No 8 Bertrand Bedes from Pau goes, he looks to be a powerful player who will make his mark. It’s good to see the Pirates lining up some European opposition in one of their pre-season frendlies in Italian Top 10 side Almaviva Capitolina from Rome, it should draw a good crowd to Camborne on the 23rd August. I see that former Pirate Nick Adams has left Wasps and headed to France where he will play for Top 14 side Montauban next season.

The Cornish All Blacks look to be assembling a powerful squad in their attempt to bounce back up to National League 1 next season with Tim Collier (ex Worcester Warriors) being the latest signing. It will take a very good side to stop them. Redruth will look to build on last season and once again consolidate their position, they will be disappointed at having lost the services of Gareth Griffiths for the new campaign. It will be interesting to see how well Mount’s Bay adapt to life at this level. They have lost a fair number of last season’s successful squad especially in the backs, Ricky Pellow’s departure is also a big loss on both player and coaching sides, however on the plus side Andy Birkett will bring a vast amount of experience at this level with many of their signings being proven performers at this level or higher.

Posted in Bill's Blog

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