GAVIN Cattle said this season must be used by scrum half Tom Kessell to kick on for the Cornish Pirates and perhaps pick up Premiership attention.

The legendary Pirates scrum half who will be taking up a player-coach role this year thinks the 24-year-old can step up to the next level.

Last season, Kessell featured heavily in the Greene King IPA Championship side after Cattle picked up an injury.

During 2013/14, the Hayle-native made 20 starts and eight substitute appearances for the Mennaye Field outfit and scored nine tries.

Cattle said: “This is the year for Tom to really push on and make the scrum half position his own.

“He has the game to be one of the best in the Championship and I think he could also gather interest from Premiership clubs.

“Obviously we would prefer it if he stayed with us, but we want to develop players as well and I don’t mind putting pressure on him as he is already an established player here.”

Director of rugby Ian Davies echoed Cattle’s view, saying he thinks it will be a big season for Kessell.

“This is meant as no offence to Gavin, but he probably has held back Tom in some ways,” Davies said.

“When you have someone of Gav’s quality, it does limit the chances of other players.

“Tom showed us what he has in his locker last season so this is the year for him to kick on.

“He still has a few rough edges to smooth off, but he does have the game to step up to the next level.”