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A look at the Hurricanes and their Yorkshire connections

DON’T run away with the idea that our opponents this Sunday evening, Midlands Hurricanes (formerly Coventry Bears) are a conglomeration of former rugby union lads and other big lads from the Midlands who fancy their chances at a contact sport.

That would be as totally disrespectful to this ’new’ entrant to Rugby League’s third tier as it is totally wide of the mark.

Supporters from heartlands clubs like ours can easily run away with the idea that non-heartlands clubs are somehow not part of us and have no right to do well and certainly no right to take points away from the so-called northern powerhouse.

It naturally follows that clubs like Oldham are on a hiding to nothing.

If we win it was ‘only’ Cornwall, London Skolars, West Wales Raiders or, in the case of this weekend’s opponents, Midlands Hurricanes.

If we lose, oh my goodness, talk of doom and gloom!

That’s rubbish, of course, and very disrespectful to the four teams beneath us in the table, especially to Skolars, who beat us in North London and will have gone above us in the table if they have beaten West Wales today (Sat) and to Hurricanes, who won 24-0 at Hunslet last time out and are currently only one point behind us in the table.

It was a landmark victory — their first away from home against a side from the north.

The truth, of course, is that most of the 17 players on duty at the South Leeds Stadium were northern lads anyway, many of them from Yorkshire.

Here’s a quick look at the lads who stunned the rugby league world last week with a win at Hunslet which still makes it mathematically possible for either Roughyeds or Hurricanes to squeeze into the play-offs at Hunslet’s expense.

Kieron Lawton (full-back): from Doncaster. England under-19s, former clubs, Doncaster, Castleford, Hull KR.

Elliott Wallis (wing): from Hull. Former clubs Hull KR and Bradford Bulls. Reared in the Hull Academy.

Matty Welham (centre): Brother of Liam, his fellow centre and of Kris (Sheffield Eagles, England Knights, ex-Hull KR and Bradford). Played for both Hull clubs. Doncaster, Hemel, Keighley, Coventry.

Liam Welham (centre): from Hull. Once of Hull FC and Hull KR reserves, then Featherstone, Doncaster, Hunslet. One of three league-playing Welham brothers .

Hayden Freeman (wing): from Birmingham. Raised in the academy at London Broncos, then Coventry Bears.

George Collins (stand-off): Once of Huddersfield Giants, then Cas Tigers. Highly-rated youngster.

Ben Stead (scrum-half): from Keighley. England Students 2015, 2017, 2018. World team selection after the 2017 Students World Cup.

Tyler Walton (prop): Once of Albi (France), Rochdale Hornets, Newcastle Thunder.

Chris Collimore (hooker): Another Yorkshire lad. Connections with Huddersfield Giants and used to play for Keighley and Coventry.

Sam Bowring (prop): another Hull lad. England Students 2013. Former clubs Bradford Bulls, Batley, Newcastle Thunder, Hull KR, Coventry Bears.

Bailey Dawson (second row): Highly-rated Hull KR youngster currently on loan to Hurricanes to end of season. Linked up with former Robins Brad Clavering and Elliott Wallis and former Rovers Academy player Elliott Windley.

Tom Wilkinson, second-row: From Hull. Played for Hull KR under-19s. Great game in the win at Hunslet.

Jordan Bull (loose-forward): from Doncaster. England community under-18s, Yorkshire 16s,17s, 18s, then Sheffield Eagles, Doncaster, Coventry Bears.

Tyler Hepple (sub): New Zealander, son of the famous Brad. Previous clubs Hull KR, Featherstone Rovers.

Elliott Windley (sub): from Hull, KR and Warrington under-19s.

AJ Boardman (sub):, born in Dewsbury, played for Hunslet.

Nathan Newbound: from Leeds, played league with various clubs and union with Sale Sharks.

Among the more senior players who didn’t play at Hunslet were 31-year-old Ben Hardcastle and Oldham-born Phil Cowburn, better known as an experienced centre or full-back with Gloucester All Golds and then West Wales Raiders.

Hardcastle played for Keighley, Hull KR, Newcastle Thunder and York City Knights.

He won a league leaders’ trophy with York and currently holds two Newcastle Thunder records – most points in a game and most points in a season.

Wilkinson, Wallis, Walton and Cullimore scored tries in South Leeds and Stead landed four goals from five shots in a man-of-the-match performance.

Plenty of evidence there to show that Roughyeds can expect a tough game on their first-ever visit to the north-east corner of Worcestershire where the two dressing rooms will reverberate to the sound of Yorkshire accents — theirs and ours !

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