Despite the unfortunate poor weather there was an excellent turnout for Friday’s Cornish Pirates ‘Meet the Players’ event, writes Phil Westren.

Held in the clubhouse because of the wet, the format had to be a little different. However, with a will and spirit to make it worthy, it was, the surprisingly large gathering enjoying a great evening with excitement levels certainly building ahead of the new season.

PA announcer Phil Westren firstly welcomed all present and congratulated last season’s squad. A big thank-you was also expressed to Hayle RFC for accommodating this season’s squad for pre-season training.

Expressing thanks also to Dicky Evans for his support to improve the Mennaye Field with drainage and irrigation now in place like never seen before, Phil then one by one introduced all 15 new signings.

To end the formal part of the evening, Director of Rugby Chris Stirling spoke of how the club hopes to help grow the game of rugby together with others in the county.

He also said what a magnificent job Gavin Cattle, Alan Paver and Chris Morgan have done, with a focus now to take things to the next level.

Goals this year will be entwined with a longer plan process of identifying how the club establishes a true vision and to put that into a strategic plan, the aim to in three seasons time play the top level of rugby – or at that stage not be far away - in a stadium at Truro, and to make the Pirates something like world class.

Chris also confirmed that it was an easy choice to announce that Brett Beukeboom would captain the side this coming season, with Nicolas De Battista named as vice-captain.

Player sponsors then had the opportunity to be photographed with their sponsored player/s.