VIDEO: Former Cornish Pirate Ryan Westren set for Launceston return
The Cornish All Blacks have strengthened their squad ahead of the National League Two South season by making moves for Ryan Westren and Jamie Salter.
Centre Westren returns to Polson Bridge after two seasons away, playing Championship rugby with Cornish Pirates and London Scottish.
The 28-year-old, who scored 25 tries for the Launceston club in the 2010-11 season, has not played since injuring his knee in October last year.
Westren now hopes to regain form, fitness and confidence while back with the All Blacks this term.
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He said: “I’m in the last stages of my rehab now and I’m hoping to play a few games and go from there.
“Each week that I do, I feel like I’m coming back more and more. The first month or so, I’m not going to worry too much about how I play, I just want to get back out on the field and add more to my game week by week.”
Westren feels that his experience will be beneficial to the All Blacks this season. He said: “I am a bit more experienced coming back in, than when I left and, hopefully, I can use that to aid my performance.
“I probably used to rely on the physical side of my game, rather than the mental side. Now I want to put them both together and come back a better player.”
The Cornish club confirmed the return of hooker Salter last night after his own season in the second tier of English rugby playing for Plymouth Albion.
Salter said the team spirit and his friendships with members of the current squad influenced his decision to come back.
“I had three years at the club previously before I went to Plymouth and a lot of those boys are still around,” he said.
“It is a good club with good supporters and it is a nice environment while still playing a good standard of National League rugby.”
Former director of rugby Simon Owens will be the club’s first-team manager this season, assisting head coach Spike Rainford with administerial elements of running the team.
Owens said: “For me, Ryan and Jamie are real marquee signings, as is having Bryn Jenkins and Martin Rice back in the squad.
“Ryan has had his problems with his knee but he is pretty much through that now and we’re hoping he goes from strength to strength because he is a real game changer for us.
“His change of pace and exceptional footwork means he scores tries. It is a very strong squad now with real depth.”