Cornish Pirates benefactor Dicky Evans has announced a three-year "Sunset Plan" to complete his investment in the rugby side. 

The final investment offers a £2.5m funding programme and security for up to three years for the Pirates, allowing a full-time professional side to continue to challenge for the Premiership while a graceful transition to new investors is executed.

During his tenure the Pirates have risen from a Division seven amateur club to a leading professional Championship team, competing to enter the Premiership.

The Pirates are currently third in the RFU Championship having lost 22-15 to league leaders Doncaster Knights on the weekend. The Pirates trail the leaders by seven points and crucially have two games in hand. 

This announcement puts an end to claims recently made in The Rugby Paper that the Pirates were planning to go 'part time' next season. 

Dicky Evans said: "I have enjoyed every minute of the last 27 years and as we say, “once a Pirate, always a Pirate”. I would never let the team down.

"This move is my last gift to them, handing on a successful club with a large and loyal fan base, to investors with the will and capacity to see the Pirates into the Premiership, up to the top of that league and into Europe. This is my Sunset Plan, but a new dawn for Pirates."

The plan includes Truro City FC who are owned by the Pirates. The White Tigers have been playing their football outside of Cornwall at Plymouth Parkway's Bolitho Park this season after they were forced to leave Treyew Road. 

Truro will play their football in Plymouth next season too until the Stadium for Cornwall is available. The Stadium has planning permission and the Stadium Board has formally written to the Council to release its £3m funding in order to start groundworks and ensure Truro are able to play in their proper home in the 2023/24 season.   

It was confirmed that Truro are already in discussion with potential new investors.

Dicky Evans said: "People assume I am only a rugby supporter but I have always been a keen football fan too. First and foremost I am a Cornishman and when the plight of Truro City was brought to my attention in 2018 I wanted to help if I possibly could. It has been a privilege to support them, and I am delighted that new investors are interested in building a strong future for the club."

The Pirates' next game is at home on Saturday, March 19 when they play Hartpury University, Truro are away to Metropolitan Police in their next match. 

Players, staff and shareholders from both were informed of this announcement at a meeting earlier on March 15.