THE Cornish Pirates have confirmed that four more players have signed contracts at the club, extending their stays until the end of the 2014-15 campaign, writes Dick Straughan.
Director of rugby Ian Davies has stated that he is keen to get player contract issues dealt with as soon as possible as the Pirates build towards a British & Irish Cup quarter-final date with Pontypridd next month, and he has now secured nine players inside the last week.
Flanker Chris Morgan, fellow back row Joe Atkinson, full back Craig Holland, and wing Matt Evans have this week confirmed their intention to stay at the Mennaye Field.
They join Rob Elloway, Tom Channon, Alex Dancer, Mike Pope and Kieran Goss who all secured new deals the previous week.
Morgan, 32, captained the side on his 150th appearance in Pirates colours at Moseley last Friday and has become a key player in the squad since rejoining the club from Newbury in 2008.
Atkinson, 22, joined the Pirates last summer from Loughborough Students where he had been their top try scorer the previous season in the National Leagues.
Having also spent time with London Irish and represented England Students, he has featured five times in the Championship this season.
Craig Holland also joined from Loughborough Students, where he notched an incredible 63 tries in 70 appearances.
He has quickly become the Pirates' first choice full-back, making his league debut in the season opener against Bristol and scoring his first try a week later in the home defeat to Leeds.
At Rotherham in January he contributed his best personal points haul of the season with 20 (try, three conversions and three penalties).
The decision of Canada international Matt Evans to stay in Cornwall is a coup for the Pirates with the attentions of several Premiership clubs being alerted by his performances in recent seasons.
Cornwall and England's Jack Nowell will be in Penzance on Saturday, as part of 'An Evening with Bill Beaumont' at the Mennaye Field.
Nowell will attend the evening along with family members.
Tom Magill, general operations manager at the Cornish Pirates, said: "All of us at the Pirates and throughout Cornwall have been immensely proud to witness Jack reach the England Elite Player Squad and demonstrate his skills on the international stage.
"We are especially delighted that he is able to attend Bill's evening to show his support for Cornish Rugby and also for the RNLI, remembering that members of his family are closely connected with the sea."
Former England captain Beaumont, chairman of the RFU, is guest speaker for the event which is being held in the impressive new entertainment marquee at the Mennaye.
The evening is priced at £45 per head or £40 per head for Cornish Pirates sponsors, committed shareholders and season ticket holders.
The event begins at 7pm with a drinks reception, a three course meal and will, in addition to the delights of Beaumont speaking, include a raffle and an auction of special lots.
The dress code is black tie and posh frocks. Proceeds will go to the Pirates and the RNLI. To book, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.cornish-pirates.com