Having grew up in Castleford I chose to play my amateur rugby at Featherstone Lions and played there from 1989 to 1997. It was a great club to play for and I’m very thankful to the people who coached me and the lads I played with. I was selected to play for Yorkshire through numerous ages and enjoyed getting beaten from the much bigger Lancashire lads along the way!
Whilst playing Rugby League I also played football and had trials at Leeds Utd and Manchester City, although I never thought I was good enough to play professional Football (trust me I wasn’t). I always had a dream of wanting to play Rugby for the Leeds Rhinos. At the age of 13 I signed for the Rhinos and was absolutely overjoyed to have done so.
Between leaving my amateur club and joining Leeds Rhinos I was lucky enough to be picked on the Great Britain Schools U’16s tour of Queensland. Players like Danny McGuire, Chev Walker and Sean O’loughlin were also picked to go on the tour. We won 4 out of 5 so it was a successful tour for us.
I joined the apprenticeship at Leeds after I left school in 1999 and at the age of 16 my journey to becoming a Rhinos player began. I joined the Rhinos academy system at 16 years old, playing in what was then the U’19′s competition. The youth system at Leeds was headed up by Dean Bell. The team had won the academy championship for 5 consecutive years, so as young lads we were under a bit of pressure to keep the tradition going. We actually won the league that year with most of the players only 16 & 17 years old so we knew we had achieved a lot which set us in good stead for hopefully playing in the first team one day. The following season we won it again and the core of the team was pretty much the same but a year older and wiser.
I didn’t play many U’21′s games because I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to play 1st grade due to an injury hit season. Ryan Sheridan was injured and I was fortunate enough to have been in good form at the time.
Since 2001 I have been part of the Rhinos 1st grade and enjoyed many highs and some lows throughout my career. Having achieved some great successes it has made me and my teammates even more hungrier. I am proud to say that I have represented my county and country in numerous major tournaments. To this present day I can honestly say it is an absolute joy to be involved in such a great club with great staff and teammates. A good friend of mine once said “If you enjoy your job you’ll never do a days work in your life”. I know how lucky I am. It is a massive honour and privilege for me to play for the club that I love.
Featherstone Lions 1989 – 1997
Featherstone Schools 1997 – 1998
Great Britain Schoolboys 1997 Tour of Queensland
Leeds Rhinos Academy 1998 – 2001
England Academy 2001 Tour to Australia
Leeds Rhinos 2001 – present
Great Britain 2005, 2006, 2007
England RL 2008 World Cup
Super League Champions 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009
World Club Champions 2005, 2008
Leeds Rhinos Player of Year 2007
Harry Sunderland Winner 2007
Yorkshire Sports Personality Runner Up 2007