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Saracens relegation: Cornish Pirates relish challenge of champions in Championship

Cornish Pirates are second in the Championship, nine points behind last season’s relegated Premiership side Newcastle

Cornish Pirates coach Alan Paver says Saracens’ relegation to the Championship could benefit his side in the long run.

The reigning champions of England will be relegated to the Championship in June after failing to adhere to the Premiership salary cap this season.

The club had already admitted breaching the cap from 2016 to 2019.

The Pirates hope to move to a new stadium in Truro which would allow them to play top-flight rugby.

“If they’re in the league I hope we get them in the cup as well,” Paver told BBC Radio Cornwall.

“I’ve said to the guys that if we are to push on to the next level we’ve got to push ourselves and see if we can play the best teams week in, week out.

“That way you get a metal strength and a resilience that when your time does come you’re able to take it and retain it.”

The Pirates reached the Championship play-off final in 2011 and 2012, losing to Worcester and London Welsh respectively, but have never reached the top flight.

The Championship is usually dominated by the side relegated from the Premiership the previous season – in the last seven years, only Bristol in 2016 have been able to win promotion to the top flight having spent more than a single season in the second tier.

And while it is unclear how many of Saracens’ world-class players will feature in the Championship nest season, Paver believes that whoever they put on the field, it will be incredibly difficult for any side to match them.

“If we are in the league next year and Sarries come down and we’ve got them as a prospect we know what resources they bring, let’s not kid ourselves.

“That league will be very difficult for anybody, and I’m talking about sustaining the whole campaign,” he said.

“Some team somewhere may beat them once, it’ll be the greatest day in that club’s history probably, but for us it’s about us continually moving forward and building.”

Article courtesy of BBC Sport
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