CORNWALL hero Billy Searle is confident he can make the jump from National One to the Premiership.
The fly-half, who only turned 20 at the end of March, is swapping Plymouth Albion for newly-promoted top flight side Bristol this summer.
Searle has joined on an academy contract, along with fellow Albion youngster Ollie Dawe, but the exciting back says he is going up there to try and play first team rugby.
He showed his ability by scoring a hat-trick for Cornwall against Surry in their final group game before putting on an accomplished display at Twickenham, including scoring the Duchy’s first try in their 35-13 win over Cheshire.
When Searle agreed to join Bristol they were still in the Championship but he was delighted they won promotion last week.
“I watched the game, hoping they would win,” said Searle, who made 27 appearances for Albion in 2015/16, scoring eight tries. “I can’t wait to go up there now and get stuck into pre-season and see what happens.
“I am always confident in myself. It is down to me to go up there, work hard and show what I can do. Hopefully, I will get selected.”
He added: “I am hoping to play in the first team, that’s the aim. I would not have signed for them otherwise.
“But if I don’t make the team then I’m sure I will learn off the players up there. They have got so many experienced players at 10, who, hopefully, I can learn off and develop my game further.”
Former Okehampton junior Searle believes he has developed massively in the last 12 months at Albion after joining them following a season at Launceston. He felt that was shown in his performances for Cornwall this year.
“I have definitely come on the last year at Plymouth Albion with Graham (Dawe) and Simon (Lane),” said Searle. “The coaching there has helped my game a lot, especially by game-management as a 10.
“Last year I played 15 for Cornwall. This year has definitely helped a lot. I am a different and a better player this year, I would say.”
Searle was delighted to help Cornwall to back-to-back titles for the first time in their history.
“It was a fantastic day and a fantastic win for us,” said Searle, who opened the scoring within 70 seconds of the game.
“We could not have started any better. That’s what I dreamed about that the night before. It was a good start – a good break by Sheppy (Matt Shepherd) and I was on his shoulder just to get over the line.
“It was awesome start.”
Searle also showed his kicking qualities in the second half to pin Cheshire back in their 22.
“Second half we said we wanted to control the game and said to look for the corners,” explained Searle. “Luckily, it came off second half and I put a couple of kicks into corner that put a bit of pressure on them and allowed us to get some points that took the game away from them.”