THE Cornish Pirates confirmed last night that five players have signed new contracts with the club – and there are likely to be more.
The five are hookers Rob Elloway and Tom Channon, centre Alex Dancer, and utility backs Kieran Goss and Mike Pope.
Elloway, aged 30, joined the Pirates from Gloucester in 2007, and has performed consistently well since. He has made 176 appearance for the club.
Devonian Channon is enjoying his first season in Cornwall, having arrived last summer from Bristol. A strong running forward, he is 23 and has featured in 19 games.
The three backs, who also joined the Pirates last year and are all in their early twenties, have impressed with their attitude and development.
Dancer is a former England Students player who has been hampered by injury, but is now fully fit and has played in nine matches, while Goss and Pope have both been regulars.
South African Goss has scored eight tries in 19 appearances, and Bournemouth-born Pope has played in 23 matches and scored three tries.
Director of Rugby Ian Davies said: "It's fantastic that these guys have put pen to paper. We need a little bit of continuity and will be looking to secure more of the current squad over the next few weeks.
"Strengthening the squad will of course be fully dependent on who we retain and the budget available."
The Pirates head to Birmingham tomorrow for their rescheduled Greene King Championship meeting with Moseley at Billesley Common (7.30pm kick-off).
The match was due to have been played two weeks ago but was called off due to a waterlogged pitch and the Pirates suffered the same fate last Sunday as their home clash with London Welsh fell foul of the weather. Davies expects to stick with the squad he picked to face Welsh and after two successive postponements the team just want to play.
He said: "We had hoped that the Welsh game would go ahead because the boys are chomping at the bit after the draw with Ealing.
"Two weeks of not playing is frustrating and although we have put in some good sessions at Penwith College on their artificial pitch, it is not the same as playing."
Scrum-half Gavin Cattle is nearing a return to action after injury and Davies hopes that he could be back for either the home game against Jersey or the trip to Bristol.
Cornish Pirates (from): Fatialofa, Goss, Hendrickson, Holland, James, Jones, Kessell, Moyle, Pope, Riley, Sinclair, Evans; Andrew, Barry, Cahill, Carpenter, Elloway, Graulich, Patrick, Prescott, Stevens, Davies, Cheesman, Dancer, Morgan, Parker, Bodilly, Bolwell, Hallett, Duncan, McGlone, Paver, Carrick-Smith.