Cornish Pirates squad is 'strongest yet' - Alan Paver
Last updated on .From the section Rugby Union
Cornish Pirates prop Alan Paver claims that this season's squad is the strongest he has ever been part of.
Paver, 33, who has been at the Mennaye Field for nine years, suggests that this Pirates side is the best ever.
"We've got a nice blend of youth and experience," the former Plymouth Albion man told BBC South West.
"This is the third season that we've managed to keep the majority of the squad together. I think it's the strongest squad we've had yet."
Last season the Pirates came second in the Championship, losing in the end of season play-off final to Worcester, who they beat during the course of the league campaign.
And Paver expects them to be in a similar position this time round, knocking on the Premiership door.
"It's something I'm really striving for," he said. "For the team, for the club, for the community and for Cornwall - to get into the Premiership would be huge.
"We haven't had much external pressure. But we have had a lot of internal pressure led by ourselves.
"Last year we made massive strides and we know we've got to match that and squeeze out a few more per cent.
"That'll be the difference between having the chance to win the league and being nowhere near it."
Pirates begin their Championship campaign with a trip to Moseley on Saturday week (3 September, 15:00 BST).
Their first home game then comes against Doncaster the following week, with relegated Leeds due at the Mennaye Field a fortnight later.