Cornish Pirates coach Ian Davies hails 'energy' of young stars

Cornish Pirates v London Welsh

Cornish Pirates head coach Ian Davies has praised the impact made by some of the younger players in his squad, both on and off the field.

Davies has pursued a recruitment policy of signing younger players and the Welshman believes it is bearing fruits.

"The energy levels from youngsters like Joe Atkinson, Tom Shannon, Craig Holland and Kieran Goss has been fantastic," he told BBC Radio Cornwall.

"They have that energy and that hunger and desire to play."

Davies continued: "Last year we were a bit down in the mouth because we were struggling week-to-week to get things done.

"It was a very, very small squad whereas this year we can have productive training sessions every week, so we're seeing progress in all areas.

"Some of the stuff they chat about I have absolutely no idea what they're talking about, but the dressing room spirit is fantastic."

That team spirit will be needed when the Pirates take on London Scottish on Friday at the Mennaye Field, having suffered a 41-6 defeat at the hands of London Welsh in their last outing.

"We know the areas we made mistakes in and we weren't a million miles away - which is unusual having lost by that scoreline," said Davies.

London Scottish beat the Pirates by one and three-point margins last season and Davies is expecting another tight encounter.

"They're usually close-run affairs," he said. "They're a good unit, they've got some good players but so have we. It should be a cracking game.

"Both sides want to play a bit of rugby. Mark Bright, who I think is a fantastic player, is a talisman for them and guys like James Love like the ball in hand, and on our side we have lots of guys who like the same thing.

"Chris Morgan is now a proud father so he's back involved and will captain the side because Gavin Cattle's back injury is keeping him out. He's also about to become a father so I'm sure they'll be looking forward to the away trips for a bit of sleep!"