HEADING back to his old stomping ground at Cornish Pirates will be a special occasion for Worcester Warriors flanker Sam Betty.

Betty, whose dad John starred in the centre for Truro, joined Pirates under Jim McKay’s leadership as a raw but promising 19-year-old.

Now nine years later, Betty is having one of the best seasons of his career and McKay, the former Australian attack coach, has been doing consultative work at Warriors.

Betty has added an attacking edge to his game and has scored a remarkable 17 tries from 17 appearances this term.

“I think I scored only three times in the rest of my career before this season so it’s a bit different,” said Betty.

“Most of my tries have come from driving mauls.

“The guys in front of me have done the hard work and we have worked pretty hard on it in training. It’s paying dividends on the field.

“I think my attack has improved over the last couple of seasons and that’s something I have worked on and had a lot of help from different coaches.”

Betty, who was born in Bristol, scored two tries in 60 appearances for Pirates and his raw aggression, handling and general work-rate in the loose was spotted by former Warriors boss Richard Hill.

He joined Warriors in 2011, after an impressive performance for the Penzance side during the second leg of the Championship play-off final at Sixways.

“I had a good six years down at Pirates and I have some really fond memories of the club,” he said.

“We played Pirates and beat them quite comfortably at our place earlier in the season.

“But they then went and put 45 points on Bristol.

“I have seen Pirates play a few times and I know a few of their players. They have got a very good team, are well coached and I am expecting them to be pretty tough opposition.”

Betty, who played 27 times during Dean Ryan’s first campaign in charge, is a key part of Warriors’ back row and is excited about the promotion run-in.

He came off the bench and grabbed a match-sealing try in Worcester’s hard-fought 39-26 victory against Yorkshire Carnegie last weekend.

“Yorkshire’s scrum and maul probably outdid us a little bit here at Sixways and there and they definitely out-mauled us a few times,” said Betty.

“But we have worked on that area and, generally, our scrum and maul have been good all season. We’re not going to get too worried about one little blip.”

Betty admits Worcester’s back row is a very competitive area and it’s important to catch the eye when he gets an opportunity to start.

“Sam Lewis has just come in and he’s a very good player,” said Betty.

“He’s a classic over the ball openside and there are a lot of guys playing well.”

Warriors’ forward pack will be strengthened next season by Pirates lock Darren Barry, whom Betty has met several times at the Cornish club.

“Darren is a nice guy and from what I have seen he’s a very good player so he should be a good addition to our squad,” he said. “He’s a big, strong lad with a high work-rate and I think he will do very well.

“I have a few good memories from my time at Pirates so I am looking forward to catching up with them.

“I try to prepare the same way for every game but I am looking forward to playing against my old club and I am sure there will be a bit of banter flying around during the game.”