JAKE MURPHY says Cornwall must not let the pressure of being defending champions get to them when they take on Cheshire in the County Championship final at Twickenham on Sunday (12noon).
The Duchy have never claimed back-to-back titles before so the team could make history this weekend.
But Plymouth Albion’s 2015/16 captain Murphy says the players just have to concentrate on their performance rather than thinking about writing their names in history.
“It’s the second year in a row I have been up there, so I know what to expect,” said centre Murphy, who helped Cornwall beat Lancashire last season. “But there is that pressure as defending champions.
“Yet you’ve just got to try not to buy into those things (like trying to make history). If you put too much emphasis on that then you’ll take your eye of the main target, which is a performance.
“We need to go there and put on a good performance and then we’ll see at the end of the 80 how we got on.
“I think the squad has been getting better week by week.
“You want to enjoy the occasions but you want to get the result as well.”
“I was gutted to miss the club stuff, especially with the way the boys finished – that was outstanding and I was really proud of them,” said Murphy.
“But, personally, it’s good that the county stuff comes at the end as it has given me a chance to get out on the pitch again, which I’ve enjoyed.”
Murphy was a key player for Albion last season, starting 21 matches and scoring six tries.
However, his future is up the air following the club’s takeover last month.
When asked about his plans, Murphy said: “My plans are just to play at Twickenham on Sunday and then we’ll just see.
“It’s no different to most years, the summer will roll on and we’ll see what happens.
“I would love to be pulling on an Albion shirt again next year but we’ll just have to wait and see.”
Cornwall have been boosted by news that tight-head prop Christian Judge has been passed fit to feature on Sunday. He will start on the bench after recovering from a shoulder injury he suffered in Plymouth Albion’s final match of the season at Richmond.
Meanwhile, Albion back Matt Shepherd has been added to the England Counties squad to tour Canada.
Shepherd, who last week signed a new deal at Plymouth, will join fellow Cornwall players Tom Cowan-Dickie, who has been linked with a move back to Albion after a season at Redruth, and Craig Williams in the England tour party, who will play three matches in Canada between June 3 and June 11.
15 Matt Shepherd Plymouth Albion
14 Lewis Vinnicombe Redruth
13 Jake Murphy Plymouth Albion
12 Nielson Webber Redruth
11 Robin Wedlake Plymouth Albion
10 Billy Searle Plymouth Albion
9 Greg Goodfellow Chinnor
1 Tom Cowan-Dickie Redruth
2 Rupert Freestone Plymouth Albion
3 Craig Williams Redruth
4 Ben Hilton Launceston
5 Tony Whittle Camborne
6 Kyle Marriott Redruth (Captain)
7 Sam Matavesi Plymouth Albion
8 Herbie Stupple Plymouth Albion
Richard Brown Redruth
Christian Judge Plymouth Albion
Damien Cook Camborne
Chris Fuca Redruth
Jon Dawe Plymouth Albion
Sam Parsons Redruth
Lewis Webb Taunton