Cornwall RLFC Sign Locally Based Duo for 2022 Betfred League 1 Season
March 24, 2022
Cornwall RLFC have swooped to sign locally based duo Matty Turton and Chris Chard for the 2022 Betfred League 1 season.
Both players attended the club’s open player trial earlier this year and were subsequently invited to train with the signed players to earn themselves a contract for our maiden professional campaign.
And after impressing Choughs’ head coach Neil Kelly, Turton and Chard become the club’s latest recruits as we gear up for our League 1 bow at North Wales Crusaders on Saturday, April 2.
Turton was born in Leigh but moved to Cornwall last year and the 20-year-old played in the County Origin match victory over the Duchy’s fierce rivals Devon. A half-back by trade, Turton came through the junior system at amateur club Leigh Miners Rangers – following a similar path to his Cornwall team mate Jake Lloyd.
“I am buzzing with this opportunity,” enthused Turton. “Finding out there was a professional rugby league team in Cornwall – it was an opportunity I grabbed with both hands and I am going to give it my all. I will give it my best shot and who knows where it will lead.”
Utility back Chard was born in Truro and raised in the Duchy. The 28-year-old has rugby league experience playing for the Army’s Infantry side and first took up the 13-player code in 2018.
“Like everyone has said already, it is an incredible opportunity,” Chard added. “But to play for Cornwall as Cornish lad is both a privilege and an honour.
“I am just keen to get in, get some ball in hand and have a good season. It is exciting to bring rugby league to Cornwall as we are a proud rugby nation, let us see what we can do in the league world.”
Kelly praised the attitude and application shown by both players in training and said their commitment has been refreshing during our pre-season campaign.
“Matty and Chris have been at every training session and they have shown a real desire to force their way into my plans,” the 2002 Super League Coach of the Year said. “Having a squad with players chomping at the bit that want to play will be crucial when the season starts and given what I have seen in training, Matty and Chris very much fit into that category.”
Meanwhile, Cornwall RLFC general manager John Beach added: “Matty has come from a traditional rugby league background and moved to the area about a year ago.
“He played in the Origin match against Devon and was very much aware of rugby league in the Duchy. When Cornwall RLFC were subsequently launched and an open player trial held, it was for players like Matty who had played the game before and Chris who had limited experience to show us what they could do.
“Chris has been a virtual ever-present at training and given his background in the forces, he sets a real example of the values that we are trying to create at Cornwall RLFC.”