Cornish Pirates

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Cornish Pirates
Cornish Pirates logo.svg
Full name Penzance and Newlyn Rugby Football Club
Union Cornwall RFU
Founded 1945; 72 years ago (1945)
Location Penzance, Cornwall, England
Ground(s) Mennaye Field (Capacity: 4,000 (2,200 seated))
Chairman Paul Durkin
Captain(s) Chris Morgan
League(s) RFU Championship
2016–17 6th
Team kit
Official website

The Cornish Pirates (Cornish: An Vorladron Gernewek) are a 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 RFU, the Cornish Pirates play and train at their home ground, the Mennaye Field in Penzance.

Plans ca. 2004–05[edit]

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 three 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[edit]

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. The Pirates returned to The Mennaye for the 2010–11 season and remain there to date. 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, as to whether the team should 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 2005–06 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 RFC.

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] The Stadium For Cornwall plans hit a problem when Cornwall Council refused to give any public funding to constructing the facility, which they announced towards the end of the 2011–12 season.

When new chairman Ian Connell took over on 1 July following owner Dicky Evans' decision to retire,[2] it was announced that the club hope to move into a new stadium in Truro in time for the 2016–17 season.[3]

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

2006–07 season[edit]

Following a highly successful 2005–06 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.

2007–08 season[edit]

After the success of the 2006–07 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[edit]


  1. ^ Note that Penzance (a parent club of the Pirates) won 2 additional Cornish Cups and Newlyn (the second parent club) won the Cornwall Clubs Cup once.

Current standings[edit]

2016–17 RFU Championship Table watch · edit · discuss
Club Played Won Drawn Lost Points for Points against Points diff Try bonus Loss bonus Points
1 London Irish (C) 20 19 0 1 712 290 422 13 1 91
2 Yorkshire Carnegie (F) 20 15 0 5 619 461 158 11 3 74
3 Ealing Trailfinders (SF) 20 12 1 6 584 427 157 7 3 60
4 Doncaster Knights (SF) 20 12 0 8 514 424 90 9 1 58
5 Jersey Reds 20 11 0 9 459 451 8 7 7 58
6 Cornish Pirates 20 9 2 9 559 497 62 8 7 55
7 London Scottish 20 7 0 13 465 605 −140 7 5 40
8 Bedford Blues 20 6 1 13 496 569 −73 9 5 40
9 Nottingham Rugby 20 7 1 12 419 542 −123 4 5 39
10 Richmond 20 5 0 15 347 585 −238 4 2 26
11 Rotherham Titans 20 4 1 15 333 656 −323 2 2 22
  • 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. (There is no relegation this season.)
Updated: 15 April 2017
Source:"Greene King IPA Championship". England Rugby. RFU. Retrieved 19 February 2017. 
  • Had either Ealing or Doncaster won the play-offs, they would not have accepted promotion, causing no side to be promoted and the bottom Premiership club retaining their place. This did not happen, as London Irish and Yorkshire Carnegie (both of which met the Premiership's minimum standards) won the play-off semi-finals.

Current squad[edit]

2016-17 Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-WR nationality.

Player Position Union
Tom Channon Hooker England England
Rob Elloway Hooker Germany Germany
Jack Innard (D/R) Hooker England England
Jack Andrew Prop England England
Paul Andrew Prop England England
Luke Chapman Prop England England
Tyler Gendall (D/R) Prop England England
Alan Paver Prop England England
Marlen Walker Prop New Zealand New Zealand
Brett Beukeboom Lock Canada Canada
Josh Caulfield (D/R) Lock England England
Tom Hendrickson (D/R) Lock New Zealand New Zealand
Sean Lonsdale (D/R) Lock Wales Wales
Edd Pascoe Lock England England
Matt Bolwell Flanker England England
Alex Cheesman Flanker England England
Timoci Kava Flanker Fiji Fiji
Dan Lee Flanker England England
Sam Simmonds (D/R) Flanker England England
Tom Duncan Number 8 England England
Chris Morgan Number 8 England England
Jake Parker Number 8 England England
Player Position Union
Alex Day Scrum-half England England
Mike Pope Scrum-half England England
Stu Townsend (D/R) Scrum-half England England
Bar Bartlett Fly-half England England
Will Cargill Fly-half England England
Alex Dancer Centre England England
Nicolas De Battista Centre Argentina Argentina
Toby May Centre England England
Jack Arnott Wing England England
Matt Evans Wing Canada Canada
Kyle Moyle Wing England England
Alex O'Meara Wing England England
Max Bodily (D/R) Fullback England England
Laurence May Fullback England England

Academy squad[edit]

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

Player Position Union
Tommy-Lee Southworth Hooker England England
Luke Chapman Prop England England
Neil Stanleick Flanker England England
John Stevens Flanker England England
Rhys Brownfield Fly-half England England
Noah Sixton Wing England England
Fraser Honey Fullback England England

Notable former players[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]