The season has started with a bang! There were wins for both the 1st team and the reserves over Leeds and Wigan respectively.
But, before the season started did you know that this year 16 of the players in the squad have come through the Academy teams at the HJ?
This week we focus on 5 of them, who are at different stages of their development. We also spoke to Lee Briers to get his view.
Here are our ‘picks’ for you to keep an eye on in 2016.
What’s that you say? Ben a youngster, surely he’s an established player? Well he’s both! Ben is just 21 and yet he has already approaching 100 games for the Wolves. Strong, fast, good hands, he really is the all round package. Last year he was in the England train on squad. This year we are sure that the newly appointed Wayne Bennett will have his eye on him. Ben has all the talent to establish himself as one of the stars of the next decade. Indeed, it is not too difficult to imagine the media in the future talking about Ben in the same way they recently have about Sinfield and Peacock.
Jack Johnson & Sam Wilde:
Two players who we saw glimpses of in 2016 and who acquitted themselves well. It’s fair to say they may have to wait for injuries to others before they get their chance but we are sure when the chance comes they will be ready.
Jack is lightning quick and can play wing or fullback. If he gets a chance he will be looking to cause Tony Smith a problem of whether he can drop him. He looked right at home against Saints at the end of last season.
Sam is a rangy second row forward, speaking to Lee (who coached him in the U19’s) he said Sam is a “real grafter, he’s the type of player that will do the tough stuff”.
Harvey Livett & Morgan Smith:
Two of the youngest members of the squad. Lee believes that both will be looking to establish themselves in the reserve team this year.
Harvey, a local lad has progressed through the Service Area then Academy. He has already represented England at his age groups. A pacey back rower he could perhaps break into the first team as a strong centre.
Meanwhile, Morgan made a much publicised move across the Pennines from Leeds a couple of years ago. Still only 17 he will look to develop his game by stepping up to the reserves and leading them around the park. He is at the right club with Lee Briers, Kurt Gidley and Chris Sandow to learn from not to mention the recent input from Andrew Johns.
These are our picks for 2016 it will be interesting to see how they go. Do you have your own favourite who is coming through the ranks? Perhaps you can look for them in each weeks match reports and see how they progress. Thanks as well to Lee Briers and Neil Ashurst at P&B Pictures for their help in putting this story together.