Cornwall RLFC have announced the signing of James Collings for the upcoming Betfred League 1 season.
Collings joins the club after taking part in a recent open player trial and he becomes the seventh squad member to put pen on paper for Cornwall’s maiden campaign in 2022.
The 28-year-old was born in Cumbria but moved to the West Country during his formative years and has played rugby union for both Bridgwater & Albion and Weston-super-Mare based outfit Hornets.
He has gained rugby league experience whilst representing the Somerset Vikings, while also taking part in a tour of Ireland with the South of England side.
“It is definitely one hell of any opportunity playing for team in League One with that being only two divisions off the Super League,” enthused Collings.
“The fact it is semi-professional, playing with other experienced individuals, coming together in a newly formed team, I find that really exciting. I am looking forward to seeing what we can achieve this season.
“This is an opportunity that I had to have a go at. I wouldn’t have wanted to look back in five years and say ‘I think was good enough to play at League One and part of a team that will be looking to get to the Championship.’
“It was an opportunity at my age, to play at this level and see what I can do. The only way you will ever know is to give something a try and that is exactly what I did. With Cornwall coming, this might mean that more clubs will want to start up in the South West.”
Cornwall’s head coach Neil Kelly believes that Collings’ ability to play as a back or a forward could see the Choughs’ latest recruit grow into a influential squad member, when the season starts away to North Wales Crusaders on April 2.
“I see James as a really important addition for our squad,” Kelly said. “He’s another versatile footballer who has played at six but he can also play at loose forward.
“Those two positions are vital in any rugby league side and we could see James having a growing influence on our team as the season progresses. He impressed in our player trial and is willing to commit despite being based in Somerset.
“Although he has played most of his career as a rugby union player, I am confident that he has the talent to transfer into league. His off-field attitude has impressed the club too and I think we have signed a player that will fit into the group well.”
Meanwhile, Cornwall RLFC general manager Gareth Reid said that by Collings signing for the club, he has a real chance to progress by playing rugby league.
Reid added: “James stood out at our open trials earlier this month and I am pleased to give him this opportunity to take his game to the next level. He covers a couple of key positions in the backs and the pack. We look forward to him representing the club this season coming.”