Cornish Pirates

Cornish Pirates
Cornish Pirates
Full name Penzance and Newlyn Rugby Football Club
Founded 1945
Location Cornwall, England
Ground(s) Mennaye Field (Capacity: 4,000 (2,200 seated))
Chairman Dicky Evens
Coach(es) (Forwards) Wales Ian Davies (backs) South Africa Harvey Biljon
Captain(s) Gavin Cattle
League(s) The Championship
2010–11 3rd (Losing Play-off Finalists)
Team kit
Official website

The Cornish Pirates (Cornish: An Vorladron Kernewek) are an English professional rugby union team who play in the Championship, the second level of the English rugby union pyramid, and are the premier Cornish rugby club. Formerly known as Penzance & Newlyn Pirates, the Cornish Pirates play their home games and train at their traditional home at Mennaye Field in Penzance.


Plans ca. 2004/05

There has been recent talk of plans to build a permanent 15,000 seat stadium which will be fit to host Premiership rugby, but at present the club is considering its options as the minimum entry requirements to the Premiership are constantly changing.

At the end of the 2004/05 season the Pirates finished in 4th position in National Division 1 which at the time was their highest league position since owner Dicky Evans became President and just 3 places below Premiership rugby status. To fulfill the club's aspirations of gaining promotion into the Premiership it is necessary to fulfill a number of criteria including becoming a Limited Company and playing home matches in a new capacity stadium.

The decision to relocate

In 2005 the Pirates moved away from their home at The Mennaye in Penzance, first to Kenwyn Rugby Ground, near Truro, and then to Camborne Recreation Ground. In examining the options it was viewed as imperative to increase the support base which led to a difficult decision for Dicky Evans and the supporters of the Pirates namely, should the team relocate to another site to play their home matches or not? The questions, concerns and sentiments arising from the proposals were thoroughly debated in the clubhouse and elsewhere. However, on 27 May 2005 at an emergency meeting held in a packed St Johns Hall the innovative plans were passed. They included:

  • Relocating to a new temporary site at Kenwyn, Truro for the 2005/6 season.
  • Re-branding including changing the club's name to the Cornish Pirates.
  • Upgrading all the facilities at the Mennaye Field which will continue to act as the permanent training base for the Cornish Pirates.
  • The Mennaye to continue to act as the playing home for the Pirates mini and junior sections and Mounts Bay.

Following the vote Richard Evans told members: "ten years ago I asked you to support me in taking this club into the professional era. At that time there were those were totally against this move, there are people that are against this latest move. However, it is my belief that we must try this venture". He expressed his personal happiness at the support expressed for the move and regarded it as a step towards a Premiership rugby club in Cornwall.

Cornwall Council is currently developing a business plan for a proposed Stadium for Cornwall, which could host both the Pirates and Truro City Football Club.[1]

Joe Beardshaw wins line-out ball for the Pirates against Plymouth Albion

2006/7 season

Following a highly successful 2005/6 season, (when crowds were increased and the Pirates finished 3rd in Division 1), it was decided to relocate again and over the next two seasons the Cornish Pirates will play their home rugby matches at Camborne RFC's recreation ground. Camborne's ground is seen as many to be the best rugby ground in Cornwall boasting a superb grandstand.

Penzance & Newlyn RFC club badge

The Pirates say they intend to make match days an "event" as they did last year at Kenwyn and as the Camborne Recreation Ground accommodates over 9,000 people with a stand capacity of 780, and a new Family Stand of allowing for more than 1,000. There is also good banked standing, a 80-foot-long (24 m) marquee bar complete with Cadgwith Singers and ample parking at or near the ground.

Cornish Pirates continue to work towards developing a stadium that will be required to ensure Premiership status. They are reportedly working with Cornwall County Council, and other partners, and at various sites near Truro, Camborne, or points in between. The Camborne Rec is a popular and historic Cornish rugby venue, having hosted many top class games over the years against teams including the "All Blacks" and the "Wallabies".

On 15 April 2007, the Cornish Pirates won the EDF Energy National Trophy at Twickenham for the first time in the club's history, against Exeter Chiefs. The score was 19–16.

2007/8 season

After the success of the 2006/7 cup win, the hope was that the club’s ambition could finally be realised, this hope was hampered by the loss of Viliami Ma'asi and Alberto Di Bernardo (to Leeds), these losses were offset in some degree by the signing of Canadian international scrum half Ed Fairhurst, former England U21 centre Simon Whatling from Worcester and seasoned professional Rob Elloway from Gloucester. At first the results were not good but after the world cup the team began to pick up and were joined by one of the stars of the tournament Tongan full back; Vunga Lilo. Unfortunately the side couldn’t live with the newly relegated Northampton Saints and were unlucky to draw them in the 1st round of the cup, going down 15–3 at home.

Club honours

EDF Energy National Trophy Winners: 2006/07

British and Irish Cup Winners: 2009/10

Current Standings

2011-12 RFU Championship Table watch · edit · discuss
Club Played Won Drawn Lost Points For Points Against Points Difference Bonus Points Points
1 Cornish Pirates 10 6 3 1 293 215 78 5 35
2 Bristol 10 7 0 3 243 205 38 6 34
3 London Welsh 10 6 1 3 286 195 91 7 33
4 Bedford Blues 10 6 1 3 311 230 81 7 33
5 Rotherham Titans 10 6 1 3 261 192 69 6 32
6 Doncaster Knights 10 5 1 4 224 236 -12 6 28
7 Leeds Carnegie 10 6 0 4 209 248 -39 2 26
8 Nottingham 10 4 2 4 252 233 19 4 24
9 Plymouth Albion 10 4 0 6 204 247 -43 2 18
10 London Scottish 10 3 0 7 236 269 -33 6 18
11 Moseley 10 2 1 7 212 281 -69 4 14
12 Esher 10 0 0 10 125 305 -180 0 0
  • If teams are level at any stage, tiebreakers are applied in the following order:
  1. Number of matches won
  2. Difference between points for and against
  3. Total number of points for
  4. Aggregate number of points scored in matches between tied teams
  5. Number of matches won excluding the first match, then the second and so on until the tie is settled
Green background are promotion play-off places. Pink background are relegation play-off places.

Current squad

Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under IRB eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-IRB nationality.

Player Position Union
Tom Cowan-Dickie Hooker England England
Rob Elloway Hooker Germany Germany
Dave Ward Hooker England England
Paul Andrew Prop England England
Rudi Brits Prop South Africa South Africa
Lloyd Fairbrother Prop England England
Alan Paver Prop England England
Carl Rimmer Prop England England
Ryan Storer Prop England England
Laurie McGlone Lock New Zealand New Zealand
Mike Myerscough Lock England England
Ian Nimmo Lock Scotland Scotland
Matt Smith Lock England England
Phil Burgess Flanker England England
Dave Ewers Flanker Zimbabwe Zimbabwe
Kyle Marriott Flanker England England
Chris Morgan Flanker England England
Charlie Walker-Blair Flanker England England
Blair Cowan Number 8 New Zealand New Zealand
Ben Maidment Number 8 England England
Player Position Union
Gavin Cattle (c) Scrum-half Wales Wales
James Doherty Scrum-half England England
Tom Kessell Scrum-half England England
Johnny Bentley Fly-half New Zealand New Zealand
Aaron Penberthy Fly-half England England
Ceiron Thomas Fly-half Wales Wales
Tom Cooper Centre England England
Sam Hill Centre England England
Drew Locke Centre England England
Andrew Suniula Centre United States United States
Ryan Westren Centre England England
Darren Daniel Wing Wales Wales
Wes Davies Wing Wales Wales
David Doherty Wing England England
Rhodri McAtee Wing Wales Wales
Grant Pointer Wing England England
Matt Evans Fullback Canada Canada
Rob Cook Fullback England England

Transfers 2011/2012

Players In


Players Out

Sevens Players

Notable former players


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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