penzance newlyn rfc rugby club

Club History - The Future

The Future - The Cornish Pirates

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At the end of the 2004/05 season the Pirates finished 4th in National Division 1 - their highest since Dicky Evans became President and just 3 places below Premiership rugby status.

Joe Bearman Pirates at Harlequins
Pirates away to Harlequins November 2005

To fulfil the club's aspirations of gaining promotion into the Premiership it is necessary to fulfil a number of criteria including becoming a Limited Company and playing home matches in a 15,000 capacity stadium.

In examining the options it was viewed as imperative to increase the support base which led to perhaps the single most difficult decision for Dicky Evans and the supporters of the Pirates namely, should the team relocate to another site to play their home matches?

Questions Plans & Meetings
The plethora of questions, concerns and sentiments arising from the proposals were debated in the clubhouse, in the street and through the media. However, on 27th May 2005 at an emergency meeting held in a packed St Johns Hall the innovative plans were passed.

Plans included:

  1. Relocating to a new temporary site at Kenwyn (Truro) for the 2005/06 season.
  2. Re-branding including changing the clubs name to the Cornish Pirates
  3. Upgrading all the facilities at the Mennaye Field which will continue to act as the permanent training base for the Cornish Pirates.
  4. The Mennaye to continue to act as the playing home for the Pirates mini and junior sections and Mounts Bay.

Following the vote Richard Evans told members

"Ten years ago I asked you to support me in taking this club into the professional era. At that time there were those were totally against this move, there are people that are against this latest move. However, it is my belief that we must try this venture."

Mr Evans went on to say

"I'm absolutely chuffed to bits that the members of Penzance & Newlyn Rugby Club share the same vision as myself. As I have said many times before, Cornwall deserve a Premiership rugby club and it is our aim to bring that to them."

The 2005/06 season

Ending the 2005/06 season third-placed in National 1 was a great achievement, one higher than our previous best ever league position recorded just twelve months earlier.

However, although Kenwyn had achieved its goals in terms of attracting an encouraging level of public support, it was felt after the end of just one season that the cost of the facilities provided on the site were prohibitive.

Following a period of reflection, when various options were considered, a ground share agreement with Camborne RFC was soon confirmed for 2006/07, plus possibly the following season. A return to Penzance was, of course, one of the options, but it was felt that this would be a retreat back to our shells.

A stage had also been reached when it was considered that a business decision to develop a stadium was totally unwise until the future of Premier rugby and the constraints associated with Premiership status became clear. So, in the circumstances, and after weighing up the pros and cons, it was felt that Camborne - a popular and historic Cornish rugby venue - was the right place to be.


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Penzance & Newlyn RFC




Penzance & Newlyn RFC
Westholme, Alexandra Road, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 4LY
Tel: 01736 351568
Fax: 01736 335319

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