Magnificent Seven head to the Pirates

Tom Wyatt returns to the Mennaye Field as one of seven Exeter Chiefs players who have been dual-registered with the Cornish Pirates for the upcoming 2022/23 season. Picture: Brian Tempest

By Mark Stevens

Exeter Chiefs will provide seven players on dual-registered terms to RFU Championship outfit, the Cornish Pirates, for the 2022/23 season.

Returning to the Mennaye Field for another campaign will be forwards Lewis Pearson, Cory Teague and Rus Tuima, along with back Tom Wyatt - and they will be joined in Pirates colours by newcomers Matt Johnson, Max Norey and Artur Relton.

The seven will all be looking to establish themselves within the first team ranks at the Cornish club, using the opportunity as a springboard to not only get valuable game time under their belts, but also press their own development for when they return to the Chiefs.

Over the years the Pirates and Chiefs have combined superbly to help aid the development of players, bringing through the likes of Dave Ewers, Tom Hendrickson, Jack Innard, Billy Keast, Jack Nowell, Patrick Schickerling, Sam Simmonds, Harvey Skinner, Stu Townsend and Jack Yeandle.

Exeter's Director of Rugby, Rob Baxter, said: "We have a fantastic relationship with the Pirates and over the years we've taken the opportunity to send guys down to Penzance to not only game much-needed game time, but give them that experience of playing senior rugby at a decent level.

"For both clubs it's been a real 'win-win' and you only have to look to last season where Pat Schickerling went down there, got himself in the starting line-up, played very well, before we brought him back and he featured for ourselves in the Premiership and Europe, before then ending up on a summer tour to Australia with England.

"That's what we want to see from this relationship, guys going down there, working really hard and coming back to us having played a big role for the Pirates, but equally developing themselves at the same time."

Baxter's comments have been endorsed by joint Pirates head coach, Gavin Cattle, who added: "“Our excellent relationship with the Chiefs continues to be of huge benefit to both clubs. We welcome back a few familiar faces this season along with a few welcomed additions. These players will add value to the competition within our squad.

"As always, we look forward to helping them develop and, hopefully, emulate many past Dual Reg players in achieving their goal of becoming regular Premiership performers and, in the case of some, potentially international players."

The Chiefs will travel to the Pirates for one of their two pre-season friendlies on Friday, September 2 (7:30pm).

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