Cornish Pirates agree new investment deal ahead of £1.5m share issue

Cornish Pirates v Nottingham
Cornish Pirates are two points off Championship leaders London Irish after three matches

Cornish Pirates shareholders have agreed a "recapitalisation" of the club which will lead to a £1.5m share issue.

A new ownership structure was agreed between former owner Dicky Evans, shareholder Martin Hudson and businessman Colin Groves on Thursday.

Groves, who grew up in Truro, is chairman of Waikato Rugby Union, the home union of Super Rugby's Chiefs and Mitre 10 provincial side Waikato.

Pirates hope the new structure will lead to a partnership with the Chiefs.

Pirates, who play in English rugby union's second-tier Championship, say the new deal will put them "on a more secure financial footing in the medium term" ahead of a planned move to the new Stadium for Cornwall in Truro.

New Zealand-based businessman Groves will hope to introduce further potential investors as part of the deal.

Former Pirate Martin Haag, who coached England Under-20s to the World Junior Championship title in the summer, has also been appointed a new board member.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for the Pirates to enter into an exciting world-class partnership with new financial and commercial backing," club chairman Ian Connell said in a statement.external-link