A Whirlwind Year for Joe Purcell
February 26, 2022
It’s been something of a whirlwind 2022 so far for Joe Purcell.
Wind the clock back almost two months and the 22-year-old was still based in the north of England, hoping for a break to kick-start his rugby career again.
But that opportunity was just around the corner as Cornwall RLFC’s open trial on January 9 presented Purcell with a chance to break back into the professional ranks, after stints the academy set-ups at both Wigan Warriors and Widnes Vikings.
After a mammoth trip down from Cheshire to the Duchy with his father Chris, Purcell more than caught the eye on a wet and windy morning at the Treviglas Sports Hub in Newquay.
He then became the first player to ink terms for the 2022 Betfred League 1 campaign after taking part in the trial and subsequently moved to Cornwall with his partner.
Now firmly settled within Cornish life, Purcell spoke to cornwallrlfc.co.uk about life in the South West and preparations for the club’s maiden campaign in rugby league’s third tier.
“I’m loving it at the minute and it’s definitely a change of lifestyle from what I’m used to up north,” he began. “It’s much more relaxed and training has been going well. Coming to Cornwall has been everything I expected and more.
“I wish I could play rugby every day of the week and I’m loving the opportunity this move has created.”
With Cornwall’s head coach Neil Kelly going full steam ahead as preparations ramp up for the season’s start, Purcell admitted that the former Super League Coach of the Year is working his troops hard.
“This is our pre-season and we’re hitting it really hard,” Purcell added. “We’re all getting flogged too but it’s really enjoyable and things are starting to come together.
“The intensity is picking up and we are kicking on. We are starting to look at plays and everyone has got their heads in the play book too. We have a good set of lads and for a brand-new team, it’s like we have played together for years.
“Everyone is getting on and we’re all getting to know each other by meeting up outside of training. We are all here for the same thing which is to win games of rugby league and I can’t wait for the start of the season.
“We have some good quality in the squad and the lads who have played rugby union predominantly are getting to grips with things really quick.”