Cornish Pirates: Tom Kessell set to play 100th match

Tom Kessell
Tom Kessell has established himself as first-choice scrum-half this season

Cornish Pirates coach Alan Paver has praised Tom Kessell before the scrum-half's 100th game for the club - against Bedford on Sunday.

The 24-year-old and has scored four tries in five Championship games this season.

"He's a fantastic player for us," Paver told BBC Radio Cornwall.

"Not only does he do all he can on the field, as a man he really integrates with the rest of the boys really well."

Head coach Ian Davies told BBC Sport that he and the former Newbury and Dings Crusaders youngster was part of the Championship select side which played Canada earlier this month.

Alan Paver on Tom Kessell
"He had to shadow Gavin Cattle for many years, but now he's stepped up, he's a leader, he's fulfilling everything that he wanted to."

"He's a special guy for our team and somebody we hold in our hearts," Paver added.

"He had to shadow Gavin Cattle for many years, but now he's stepped up, he's a leader, he's fulfilling everything that he wanted to.

"Everyone's over the moon for him and to get to 100 is a great achievement."

Kessell will lead the club out in their key Championship clash with Bedford on Sunday as the Pirates look to move up from second-from-bottom in the Championship table.

Centre Tom Riley returns with Max Bodilly moving to full-back, while in the pack Will Carrick-Smith comes back to partner Darren Barry in the second-row, and Paver starts at prop as they look to bounce back from last week's

"We need to go up another gear, we need to get something out of the game, we understand the importance of it," Paver said.

"We're going to give our all to make sure we're in the running for points at the end of the game."

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