TOMMY Phillips said signing a professional deal with the Cornish Pirates is like a "dream come true".

The Greene King IPA Championship club unveiled the 19-year-old prop, who featured in Cornwall's successful County Championship campaign, last season as their latest signing last week as part of the Player Development Foundation scheme.

Phillips, who lives in Cadgwith, first played rugby at Helston as a child and last season broke through into the Redruth senior squad, where he will still be involved as part of the deal with a dual registration clause agreed with the National League Two South side.

Speaking to the Packet, Phillips said: "I never imagined this would ever happen and I have a lot to look forward too over the next year and that is something I am very, very excited about.

"I cannot wait to start training and playing with some very experienced players and the top quality coaches that the Pirates have.

"I want to learn as much as I can from them and hopefully get a few games in for the first team if the opportunity arises, but I'll still be playing at Redruth as well so that is good."

He added the deal caps off a fine 12 months for him personally which has seen him represent the Cornwall senior squad in their successful County Championship campaign, including being on the bench for the final at Twickenham.

On top of this, Phillips has also been involved with the Duchy's Under 20s side and was also picked in the England Counties U20s which toured Hungary earlier this summer.

"It has been quite a fantastic season for me," Phillips said.

"I didn't think it could get much better than it already has, but signing this deal has proven me wrong.

"Everyone who grows up playing the sport wants to be a professional rugby player and to say that I am one now is fantastic."