Cornish Pirates a stepping stone to the Premiership, says boss Davies

Jack Nowell and Blair Cowan
Penzance-born England winger Jack Nowell (left) spent time on dual-registration at Cornish Pirates, while Scotland's Blair Cowan spent three years at the Mennaye

Cornish Pirates boss Ian Davies says he wants players to use his side as a way of getting to a Premiership club.

The Pirates have given a host of players their chance, with Scotland's Blair Cowan and England's Jack Nowell spending time at the club before going on to gain international recognition.

"Guys look at the Cornish Pirates and they know it's a stepping stone to get to the Premiership," Davies said.

"Thirty four players since 2009, our record speaks for itself."

As well as having more than 10 players who have had experience at the Mennaye on the books of near neighbours Exeter Chiefs, Harlequins duo Matt Hopper and Dave Ward and Gloucester's Rob Cook and Darren Dawidiuk also came through the ranks of the Championship side.

"Hopefully some of these guys will kick on from here," Davies said of his current squad, which he hopes to keep together with number of contract extensions this week.

The Pirates earned two bonus points as they narrowly lost to Bristol at the weekend, a game in which Davies made 14 changes and blooded a host of young players.

"Some of these guys have jumped ahead of those who some people will say are first choice," said Davies, who helped coach England Students last season.

"But we don't have a first choice, we have a form team and those are the guys who'll play.

"From that performance, a few of these guys will be playing against Doncaster next weekend."