Cornish Pirates: Gavin Cattle happy to focus on coaching

Gavin Cattle
Gavin Cattle last played for Cornish Pirates against Doncaster in the British and Irish Cup in December

Cornish Pirates player-coach Gavin Cattle says his playing days are starting to come to an end.

The 35-year-old had made just four replacement appearances this season following the emergence of Tom Kessell and dual-registered Exeter and England Under-20s scrum-half Stuart Townsend.

"I see my role now as a mentoring role as well as a coaching role.

"If I'm getting wheeled out every week then I'm standing in the way of their progression," Cattle told BBC Cornwall.

Cattle's Pirates pedigree
2004: Joins the Penzance-based club from Orrell
2007: Leads Pirates to National Trophy win at Twickenham before leaving for Scarlets
2009: Re-joins Pirates after two seasons in Wales
2010: Guides Pirates to the British and Irish Cup
2014: Picked to play for the Barbarians

He is in his second spell at the club, having rejoined in 2009 after two years at Llanelli Scarlets as understudy to Dwayne Peel.

Cattle first joined the club in 2004 and helped the Pirates beat Exeter in the 2007 National Trophy final before leading them to the British & Irish Cup title three years later.

Gavin Cattle leads Cornish Pirates to 2007 National Trophy
Gavin Cattle helped Cornish Pirates win their first major title when they won the 2007 National Trophy at Twickenham

"In terms of the body and fitness, I'm not getting the training like I used to, but I'm keeping myself fit so if I am needed I'm certainly able to play, but coaching is my priority if I'm honest," he said.

"I'm not the answer, we've got to look forward and giving these youngsters the opportunity to play as it's the only way we're going to progress.

"But if I am needed due to injury or unavailability I am happy to lace the boots up."

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