CORNWALL RLFC duo Luke Collins and Josh Hartshorne have signed new contracts with the club, writes Gareth Davies.
Collins, a hooker by trade, will pull on black and gold for a third campaign after first appearing in a Cornwall shirt part way through the club’s maiden campaign.
He made a handful of appearances in League One, but last season, 2023, was without doubt Collins’ breakthrough year at the Memorial Ground.
A virtual ever-present, his all-action style made him a firm favourite on the terraces and he scored a first Cornwall try in the 30-14 win away to London Skolars in July.
“I had a bit of interest from elsewhere, but the fact we managed to retain the bulk of last year’s squad, coupled with the results we had towards the end of 2023, it was the right decision to come back,” Collins told cornwallrlfc.co.uk.
“It was great to get those wins last year and certainly the best time I had in a Cornwall jersey. As players, we all got on the same page and we all knew our jobs.
“We started to click and did really well and this season the sky is the limit for us.
“There are no expectations from within the group, nor are there limitations either. We just take things one week at a time and if we continue to click, and carry on from where we were last year, we can have another good season.”
Meanwhile, Hartshorne was one of the club’s stand-out performers in Cornwall’s first professional season as he picked up both the Players’ Player and Player of the Year awards.
Previously, he had played for National Conference League side Thornhill Trojans, but excelled when in a Cornwall shirt playing in League One.
Last season, Hartshorne’s game time was limited to just a handful of appearances at the beginning and end of the campaign.
However, he played a lead hand in Cornwall’s history-making 18-12 win over Rochdale Hornets on the final day of last term, and he will be looking to continue that form into 2024.
“I am really pleased to be back with Cornwall for what should be another really productive and progressive season for the club.
“We produced some really good stuff at the back end of the season and I was really proud to be involved, especially the Rochdale game.
“It was a really special day for the club and I hope that we have plenty more of those together, as a group in this new season.
“We start on Saturday with a really tough game against York Acorn. I know from my days at Thornhill that they will be bang up for it and fancy their chances.
“But we know what we are capable of and I am sure that it will be a fantastic occasion, just like the Challenge Cup game against Mayfield was for us last year.”