Channing leaves Featherstone to go ‘back home’

Michael Channing in action for Featherstone Rovers.
Michael Channing in action for Featherstone Rovers.
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Former Castleford Tigers centre Michael Channing is heading back south after signing a two-year deal with London Broncos.

The 24-year-old Welsh international has played for Featherstone Rovers in 2016, but after a three-year absence is returning to the club that first gave him his chance in rugby league.

Channing began his rugby league career with the Broncos in 2012 after making the switch from union where he was in London Irish’s academy and made his debut against Hull KR in April, before going on to make a further five appearances that season, scoring one try.

He made a further 11 appearances in 2013, before going on loan to Castleford Tigers for the remainder of the season, where he scored three tries in four appearances.

The loan became more permanent at the end of the season and Channing signed a two-year deal with Castleford. He was released by the Tigers in late 2015 and subsequently joined Featherstone for the 2016 Kingstone Press Championship season.

“Firstly, I want to thank Featherstone Rovers for the opportunity they have given me to represent such a historic team. They’re a great group of talented lads and I’ve made some great friends, who I’m going to miss,” said Channing.

“I’m extremely grateful for how welcoming the people of Featherstone have been - and I wish them all the best for next year, as they truly deserve it.

“Coming back home to London is a really exciting opportunity for me. It was the club that set the platform I needed to create a career playing the game I love. My family and friends are equally as excited as I am to get started, making the move easier.

“What the Broncos have achieved under Hendo this season has been an incredible step forward for the club and one that I can’t wait to be a part of.

“I can’t wait to get stuck into a solid pre-season before getting back on that pitch and helping London in their journey back to the Super League, where they belong.”

Head coach Andrew Henderson welcomed Channing back ‘home’.

He said: “It’s great to be able to welcome Michael back to London. He is a London kid who was developed in our system and continued that development at Castleford and Featherstone under two quality coaches in Darryl Powell and Jon Sharp. There is no doubt that Michael is a much improved player from this experience and returns to us a better player.

“He is still quite a young player with his best years ahead of him. I am excited to work with Michael and see him progress further at London. He has Championship, Super League and international experience already under his belt, which will prove valuable for us next season.

“He’s a versatile and skilful player and further strengthens our back-line division. After having spoken to him, he believes in what we have put in place here and where we are heading as club, and will be a great fit for us.”

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