Former Wigan and Widnes youngster heads to Cornwall

Former Wigan reserves full-back or stand-off Joe Purcell has become the latest signing for new League 1 club Cornwall.

Purcell, 22, hails from Widnes, spending time with the Vikings’ development squad, and played his amateur rugby with Halton Hornets.

He said: “I’m over the moon and I can’t wait for the adventure. It is a whole new club, starting from the bottom and I can’t wait to be part of the journey.  

“The lifestyle in Cornwall looks amazing. I’m buzzing to be moving down here with my girlfriend and start a new life, get cracked into this rugby and spread the word in Cornwall. 

“I saw the trial advertised and I saw it as the perfect opportunity. I travelled down for six hours with my dad for the trial. Did the trial and fortunately I was offered a contract.”

Purcell played for Wigan’s reserve and academy sides before returning to the community game during the COVID pandemic.

He also revealed that he was drawn to the club by head coach Neil Kelly with the Cornwall chief a big pull given his success at Widnes and in both codes of rugby too.  

He added: “He’s coached at my home town club Widnes and I have seen him around rugby league too.

“After seeing someone with his kind of experience, it is someone you want to play under, to help progress my skills.”

Purcell follows another Widnesian in Anthony Mullally in joining Cornwall for their inaugural season.

Neil Kelly on Joe Purcell

Coach Neil Kelly said: “Joe Purcell is a player with rugby league pedigree. He really shone through at our player trial with an eagerness to impress. By signing a contract with Cornwall, it shows that our player trial was worthwhile and successful. 

“He is moving to Cornwall and from someone like myself who lives in the north, why wouldn’t you because Cornwall is a beautiful place. 

“Joe’s commitment is to be applauded and I’m also pleased that we have signed a player who is versatile as every coach loves versatility. Injuries will hit any team at some point during a season, so to have a player that has a good skill set and can play several positions, will give me lots of options.”

MORE: Neil Kelly praises Cornwall RLFC’s open trials 

About James Gordon 7295 Articles
Love Rugby League editor. Founded the website back in 2005. Worked with a range of clubs and sponsors during that time. Also commentates for BBC.

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