Cornwall have revealed the first member of their playing squad for their inaugural season in League 1….
Yesterday (Tuesday) the club appointed vastly-experienced former Widnes Vikings and Dewsbury Rams boss Neil Kelly as their first head coach.
Today they have secured the eye-catching signing of former Super League winner Anthony Mullally for 2022.
The 30-year-old prop forward was part of the Leeds Rhinos side that defeated Castleford Tigers in the 2017 Grand Final at Old Trafford. Prior to his spell at Headingley, Mullally also gained top-flight experience with Huddersfield Giants, Wakefield Trinity and Bradford Bulls, after beginning his playing career at home town team Widnes Vikings.
In 2019, Mullally, who has represented Ireland in two World Cups, joined the Toronto Wolfpack, but after the Covid-19 pandemic struck, he moved to Cornwall and onto France with Elite One side Carcassonne.
Known affectionally as the Vegan Warrior, Mullally returned to England earlier this year to pursue a business opportunity in Cornwall, which has paved the way his move to the new club.
“I was playing in Super League for Toronto and then Covid happened,” he began, when describing how the switch to Cornwall RLFC came about.
“Lads decided to go on loan to other teams and I decided to buy a van and come down to Cornwall because I love surfing.
“Instead of going back up north I went to France to play for a season, because I wanted something different again. After that season, I came back to Cornwall to live in my van, but I then got an apartment.
“I had offers from up north from different teams, but I decided to stay here and it was a little bit of a leap of faith. I am working on different things away from the field and I work on outdoor retreats for men. I have a lot in the pipeline for next year, but I have a lot of free time so the Cornwall RLFC opportunity just fits perfectly, and I can invest in both things.”
He added: “All the good stuff happens in the unknown and I am excited. It is not often that you get to be part of something from the ground up, to help be a part of it and shape it. I was already in Cornwall and I love the place where I have chosen to live.
“I was speaking to a lot of people down here and they were saying Cornwall were dying for another completive sports team and I definitely think it was needed.”
Cornwall’s general manager Gareth Reid said of the transfer: “Capturing the signature of a player with the calibre and experience of Anthony Mullally is no mean feat, so to say that we are thrilled is an understatement. As a Super League champion and international who has represented Ireland at two World Cups, Anthony will bring a lot to the table that will benefit all players in the squad and, in particular, the local Cornish talent who will join the club.”
Meanwhile, Cornwall’s newly appointed head coach Neil Kelly lauded Mullally’s presence in his squad for 2022 as ‘invaluable’,
“If Anthony Mullally walked out on to a Super League training field, he would gain instant success and respect,” Kelly enthused. “There is every reason to believe that he would get that respect in bucketloads from any Cornwall squad.
“It is great to have him on board and it will be invaluable from my point of view to have an ambassador on the field and he knows the game inside out. He is an amazing player to have on our playing staff for Cornwall’s first season.”