As the name of the club suggests the rugby club is a combination of former clubs Penzance RFC and Newlyn RFC and has the nickname of the ‘Pirates’. The two teams played at the St Clare ground and St Golder’s Hill respectively but after the merger the games are now played at the Mennaye Field which the club leases from Penwith District Council. The ground was perfectly placed for the newly formed club as half of the pitch lies in Penzance and the other half in Newlyn. The club also leases three other pitches from the council to allow this growing club to expend. These pitches can be found at Lower Mennaye Nurseries, Newlyn Coombe and Trereife. The club owns the freehold of its clubhouse the ‘Westholme’, where many a beer is enjoyed before and after the game.
During the early years in the 1950’s and 60’s the Penzance & Newlyn club was one of the most respected clubs in the country and as such played host to some of the biggest teams in the country. The teams regularly played in front of crowds in excess of 5000 people which was over a quarter of the town’s population. At the end of the 1960’s and during the 70’s the club began to lose its standing, with many touring clubs no longer able to afford to travel so far west. Also many young people ventured up country to find work and university students never returned home so the local talent started to diminish.
In the late 1980’s when the structure of the English leagues were changed Penzance & Newlyn found themselves in the lower leagues and many of the talented players joined other teams in higher leagues. The clubs fortunes changed in the early 1990’s when a local ex-player Dicky Evans a successful businessman in East Africa put an offer in for the club. He had become amazed just how much the club he loved had changed and now was considered a minnow of English rugby.
At first his aims were to improve the facilities at the club but in1996 all this changed, the rugby world became professional. Dicky Evans then realised he could do so much more for the club and now the players are a mixture of professionals, semi-professionals and talented amateurs. As a result of the major changes the club progressed rapidly through the lower leagues and now entertains nationally recognised teams such as Bristol Shoguns in National Division One.
The Pirates field a number of teams at the weekend which includes; minis, juniors, colts and every so often a fun loving Veterans XV. In 1999 due to a lack of consistent fixtures for the 2nd team the club decided to form a new team, Mounts Bay. The team entered the English rugby league at the lowest level, Cornwall Two. The club won the league at its first attempt and are currently second in the Cornwall/Devon league (05/04/04).