The Cornish Pirates have confrimed that their club captain of the past two years, centre Nicolas De Battista, is stepping down from full-time professional rugby.

Argentina-born ‘Nico’, now aged 31, who plans to stay in Cornwall, has in two spells with the Cornish Pirates made 71 appearances for the club.

Cornish Pirates joint head coach Gavin Cattle said: “Nico is a great character also a great leader of men who when the going gets tough you can always count on. He is physical, leads by action and example, and it is just sad that he has been so blighted by injury.

“When Nico plays, he is a proper warrior on the pitch and is also a great sportsman. He will be missed but goes with our blessing and everyone will want to wish him the very best for the future.”

Prior to first signing for the Cornish Pirates in June 2016, Nico had proudly played all his rugby for Jockey Club de Rosario, where former Pirates star Alberto Di Bernardo played. Nico was a first team regular from 2011, and in 2014 he not only captained his club but was also skipper of the Rosario Regional Team. Two of his brothers have played for Jockey Club de Rosario, whilst he himself is an accomplished 7-a-side performer who has also represented the Rosario ‘Sevens’ team.

After making 53 appearances in two seasons with the Pirates, Nico departed Cornwall in the summer of 2018 to play a season for Zebre. He had been held in high esteem during his time at the Mennaye Field, including being awarded the ‘President’s Cup’ for being deemed the most outstanding contributor on the field during the season.

Nico’s departure was disappointing, however when announced ahead of the 2019/20 campaign that he would be making a return, the news was naturally well received.

Sadly, however, injuries cruelly and frustratingly restricted to him making only 18 appearances in the past three seasons.