George Mitchell has swapped rugby codes to join Cornwall RLFC for the Betfred League 1 season.
The 25-year-old attended the club’s second successful open player trial back in November and impressed head coach Mike Abbott. After being offered the chance to train with the Choughs, Mitchell was offered terms and subsequently signed on for the club’s second professional campaign.
Cornish born and bred, Mitchell previously played the 15-man code as a youngster at Redruth and when studying at Penryn College, he moved to the Memorial Ground to play for the Borough, Cornwall RLFC’s landlords.
And in his first interview as a Cornwall RLFC player, Mitchell revealed that time spent away from the Duchy in countries with a rugby league history sparked a desire to give the greatest game a go.
He told cornwallrlfc.co.uk: “I have spent time travelling over the past couple of years and this included trips to New Zealand and Fiji where they play quite a bit of rugby league and the NRL is always on the television.
“It got me thinking about the fact that as someone from Cornwall, I had never had the opportunity to play league. When I got back to Cornwall, I heard about the club having a player trial and I thought I would give it a go.
“The trial went well for me personally and that has presented the opportunity to have a go at something different. Although the ball is the same shape in rugby union and rugby league, it is a very different game.
“I know from my time spent overseas that rugby league is quicker and fitness is key, but as a union player there is always intrigue as to what league is like.
“Since I have been training with the boys, everyone has been welcoming and helping me out with some of the parts of the game I am not so familiar with. I really feel I am getting to grips with things now and because I came off the back of playing some union with Penryn when I came home from travelling, my fitness is in a really good place.”
Meanwhile, Cornwall RLFC general manager John Beach, added: “We were very impressed with what we saw of George at the trial. He demonstrated a real hunger and commitment at the trial and after agreeing to come training with the rest of the first team squad, he continued on the same road.
“We know George is new to the game of rugby league but this is what our club is all about. Before the inception of Cornwall RLFC, there would not have been the opportunity for a Cornishman like George to play rugby league and we are confident that he will take this opportunity presented with both hands.”