Cornish Pirates facing fly-half injury crisis

Jonny Bentley
Bentley's last Pirates appearance was against Rotherham a month ago

Cornish Pirates elite performance manager Chris Stirling says his side are facing "a crisis" at fly-half.

First-choice number 10 Jonny Bentley is out for up to three months with an Achilles injury while back-up Cerion Thomas is two weeks away from fitness because of a knee problem.

Pirates brought in Exeter Chiefs fly-half Myles Dorrian on a one-game loan for Sunday's win over London Scottish.

"We are in a bit of a crisis at the moment," Stirling told BBC Cornwall.

Dorrian, who is yet to make a Premiership appearance since joining the Chiefs in the summer, impressed against Scottish and Stirling would like the Australian back at the Mennaye.

But he says it is all down to whether Chiefs coach Rob Baxter can spare him.

"It's up to our good friend up the road in Rob Baxter," added Stirling.

"We'll talk to Rob again, and to Myles, because he's got to want to come and play for the Pirates."

Bentley has had a season dogged by injury problems and has played just three matches.

He missed the start of the campaign with an abductor injury but his latest, a vertical tear of his Achilles tendon, is the worst.

Bentley could be fit in time for the Championship play-offs in March but means the Pirates will need cover at fly-half until then.

Full-back Rob Cook can play there, but has been more effective in his first-choice position, while Aaron Penberthy is dual-registered with Redruth, but has never played at Championship level.

"We suspected he had ruptured his Achilles tendon, if that was the case that would have been it for season," said Stirling.

"He has got a tear, but it's a vertical tear which means he'll be in a protective boot for eight-12 weeks."