The Cornish Pirates have confirmed that stalwart back-row man Tom Duncan has decided to step away from full-time rugby employment.

Aged 31, the Cornishman joined the Cornish Pirates from Redruth in December 2012, and has made 155 appearances. Also, impressively, he scored 72 tries for the club.

In his early days repeated injuries continually frustrated and hampered Tom’s quite clear potential to shine at Championship level, so it was of considerable credit that he battled through serious setbacks and steadily built his fitness to ultimately truly impress as a stand-out performer.

Having often captained the Pirates during his time with the club, besides also proving to be a prolific try-scorer, Tom is someone who will naturally be missed.

Cornish Pirates’ joint head coach Alan Paver said: “When Tom joined us from Redruth, we were really pleased to get another talented young Cornishman involved.

“A couple of bad injuries that he sustained would unfortunately prove frustrating, and at one stage it looked as if his playing career would perhaps be cut short. However, to his credit he showed determination to return to fitness and fought his way back and for a long time now has been a big presence both on and off the field.

“Tom has proved a potent performer, especially when given a sniff of the line from just five metres out, plus his leadership skills have been invaluable.

“Clearly we will miss him, but he can feel very proud of what he has achieved, and he will leave behind fond memories.”