KEIGHLEY Cougars are making major moves with their recruitment, with ex-Wigan and NRL star Eddy Pettybourne joining the likes of Dane Chisholm and Toby Everett in coming to Cougar Park over the last few weeks.

More new faces could be arriving soon, and head coach Rhys Lovegrove insists this has been years in the making for the current League 1 leaders.

The Australian said: "It's not a huge surprise that we've got those players, but things have changed over the last few years.

"When I first arrived, there was a bit of a stigma around Keighley, and as soon as the name was mentioned, people laughed.

"We've worked hard to change that, set out goals and targets, and how we wanted to perform.

"People started coming in from that, like Jake Webster and Scott Murrell, and getting Andrew Henderson in (as head of rugby) has accelerated the process, as he has a strong reputation around the leagues.

"There's plenty of talent around League 1, but it's also about the person, and the types of people we've brought in are even more important."

In terms of outgoings, the likes of Josh Slingsby, Robert Matamosi and Taylor Prell have made permanent departures over the past month.

Lovegrove mused: "I always talk about choice to the players.

"No-one has to play for Keighley and we won't force you, but once you're in the door, you have to adhere to our key values and those decisions will reflect how much game time you get.

"If that's too hard or players don't live up to those standards, then there are no hard feelings, we just have to make a decision on them.

"For a couple that have left of late, it just got too difficult for them to live up to what we wanted going forward.

"That's disappointing for me as a coach too, as I bring in people that I believe in, so if it doesn't work out, I review my own performance."

After the superb 56-12 win at North Wales Crusaders last time out, Cougars visit rock-bottom new boys Cornwall this weekend.

But Lovegrove warned: "Cornwall are getting better and better each week, and they'll want that first win against us.

"I always like to see new people engaged in the sport and I hope more locals tap into it, as there's a lot of rugby union teams down there.

"I'm not expecting so much from them this year or next, but I really think we'll see it work in three or four years' time."

Discussing the lengthy trek for the game on Sunday, Lovegrove said: "It has to be a factor we consider, especially given we rushed some lads back for North Wales as we were short on numbers.

"It's a long journey on a bus, to then expect the team to perform as we want.

"We'll have a couple of sessions to assess the situation then decide the direction we want to go in in midweek."

If Cougars win on Sunday, that will be 10 from 10 to start the season, but Lovegrove said: "I always say it's too early for title talk.

"It's all about the process for me and us getting better each week.

"There's still a long way to go."

That win over North Wales appeared to lay down a real marker in the title race, with Cougars' opponents seeing their own unbeaten record obliterated in spectacular fashion.

Lovegrove said: "It was a good performance, and something we worked hard for.

"The boys took the opportunity to do their homework with us having an extra week off due to the Challenge Cup final, and they executed when it mattered."

But the Australian refused to get too carried away, saying: "I don't think the result was a reflection of North Wales in general, it was one of those games where we were on it and they weren't and we had bits of luck at times too.

"It didn't show how they'd been playing and they'd had three weeks off since their previous game.

"We'd already had our bye week, and struggled and found it hard to get into the groove after that.

"There's no great distance between the two sides, and the table shows the averages to reflect that."