Cornish Pirates sign prop Jamal Ford-Robinson on two-year deal

Cornish Pirates have signed Cambridge and Cornwall prop Jamal Ford-Robinson.

The 20 year-old, who scored an impressive try in Cornwall's County Championship final defeat by Lancashire, has agreed a two-year deal at the Championship club.

Ford-Robinson has also been part of the England Counties set-up, having come through the youth ranks at Leicester.

He scored four tries in 35 games in National One for Cambridge after making his debut for the club in March 2013.

"Jamal came down to us in 2011 for a week's trial when he was at Leicester Tigers' academy," Pirates director of rugby Ian Davies told BBC Sport. "We didn't have a spot in the squad at the time, but I've kept my eye on him.

I was looking to get into the Championship for the season coming up and a few opportunities came up, but the Pirates were the one

Jamal Ford-Robinson

"This year he's played for Cornwall and been the stand-out performer so when I heard of his ambition to play at Championship level we started talking."

Ford-Robinson grew up in Penryn after being born in Bristol, and Davies says his acquisition is part of a plan to bring more home-grown players to the Mennaye.

"We've got a few youngsters already signed up and a few more to come and Jamal ticks that box for us," he continued.

"Not only that, though - he's a talent, he's just turned 20, has a hell of a physique on him and is a great prospect.

"Under (forwards coach) Alan Paver's tutelage he'll become a much better prop and hopefully under my guidance he'll become a much better rugby player."

And Ford-Robinson says the chance to return to Cornwall was too good an opportunity to turn down.

"I was looking to get into the Championship for the season coming up and a few opportunities came up, but the Pirates were the one," he told BBC Radio Cornwall.

"I had a couple of offers come in after playing for Cornwall at Twickenham and with the England Counties squad.

"But as soon as Pirates came through with something that was where I wanted to go."

He is the second prop to sign for the Pirates this week after Paul Andrew returned to the club following a season in the Premiership with Worcester.