It has been confirmed that Cornish Pirates’ hooker Tom Channon is retiring and will play his final game for the club today.

The Championship Cup quarter-final first leg encounter at home to Bedford Blues (ko 2.30pm) will mark 31-year-old Tom’s 155th appearance for the Pirates, nearing the end of what has been an especially remarkable season for him.

Indeed, after first announcing in July last year that he was leaving the club to move to Melbourne in Australia with his partner Abbey, Tom in August answered an SOS call when the Pirates were short of fit hookers and Covid restrictions had delayed his move abroad.

During this season, he has not only since made 23 appearances, but in the process has scored 16 tries in the Championship as the club’s top try-scorer. He was also nominated in the Championship’s team of the season.

And the move to Australia? Well, that is off, apparently, as Tom and Abbey will now be moving to Bath to live and work.

Cornish Pirates’ joint head coach Gavin Cattle has said:So, it is retirement 2 for Tom! In all seriousness though, since answering our SOS call at the beginning of the season he had a new lease of life and we have been very grateful.

“Obviously, he has had some tough challenges with his knee injuries over the years, but he came through them with determination and has contributed massively both on and off the field.

“As for this year, he deserves enormous credit for what he has achieved, and he has also fully deserved the plaudits that have come his way.”