Cornish Pirates boost squad with two deadline day signings
The Cornish Pirates have made two more signings on transfer deadline day as they bolster their injury-hit squad ahead of the Championship play-offs and the British & Irish Cup quarter-final.
Earlier in the week they announced the capture of hooker Will Tanner on loan from Premiership side Bath and today swooped to secure scrum-half Chris Cook and utility back Ollie Devoto from the same club.
Twenty-one year old Cook is a product of the Bath Academy and has represented the senior team seven times in the Aviva Premiership this season. An England Under-20 international he has recently signed a new two-year deal at the Rec.
Devoto, 19, is a utility back who prefers to cover the full-back and fly-half positions.
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Also a current member of the England Under-20 squad he made his senior Bath debut this season in the Amlin Cup at Romanian side Bucuresti Wolves.
Cook and Devoto take the current compliment of Bath players in the Pirates squad up to five alongside Tanner, James Tyas and JJ Kilmartin.
The injury ravaged Cornish Pirates welcome back leading try scorer Matt Evans for Sunday`s crucial clash in the battle to secure a play-off place with Leeds Carnegie at Cross Green, Otley (2.30pm).
Evans has so far registered ten touchdowns for the season and lies one score behind the league`s leading try scorer, and former Pirates wing, David Doherty and passed a late fitness test to make the travelling match squad.
The Pirates go into this weekend`s round of fixtures lying fifth and one place above Leeds.
With Bristol one point above them in the final play-off spot at present Sunday`s game becomes a must-win fixture for both teams.
Other changes see Grant Pointer take over at full-back from Wes Davies with Tom Riley and Junior Fatialofa resuming their regular centre partnership. Kieran Hallett has recovered from a knee injury and takes over at fly-half from Aaron Penberthy who drops to the bench.
Up front Paul Andrew and Rob Elloway return to the front row whislt David Lyons has recovered from a chest infection and starts at lock. In the back row Kyle Marriott comes in for Bath loanee James Tyas.
Cornish Pirates:- Pointer, Smith, Riley, Fatialofa, Evans, Hallett, Kessell; Andrew, Elloway, Prescott, Lyons, Johnson, Burgess, Cheesman, Marriott (capt).
Replacements – Storer, Semmens, Joyce, Barry, Tyas, Cattle, Penberthy.
Referee – J.Meredith (RFU)