Boost for Hunslet as Rowe and Boardman sign back on

AJ Boardman scores the winning try for Hunslet against North Wales Crusaders in February.AJ Boardman scores the winning try for Hunslet against North Wales Crusaders in February.
AJ Boardman scores the winning try for Hunslet against North Wales Crusaders in February.
Two players at opposite ends of their career have re-signed for Hunslet after joining the club ahead of the 2020 season.

Veteran prop Alex Rowe, 35, moved to Hunslet from Newcastle Thunder and Anthony ‘AJ’ Boardman - a 20-year-old outside-back - made the step up from amateur rugby with Dewsbury Moor Maroons after impressing as a trialist.

Coach Gary Thornton is enthusiastic about the pair’s prospects for 2021.

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He said: “Alex had an immediate impact on the squad, he’s a big personality and character and well respected within the game.

Alex Rowe. Picture by Paul Johnson.Alex Rowe. Picture by Paul Johnson.
Alex Rowe. Picture by Paul Johnson.

“He played an important role in gelling everyone together last season and quickly established himself as a senior player within the group.

“His presence and size on the field is obvious and he is a real handful for opposing defences.

“He will play a vital role in getting us on the front foot for our attacking game and in causing problems with his offloads.”

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Of Boardman, Thornton added: “AJ’s development during his short time with us has been fantastic and has earned him a further contract.

“His enthusiasm and energy is a real bonus and he has a real desire to establish himself at Betfred League One level.

“He has a lot to offer next season - he needs to keep progressing and learning and will surely become a regular in the first team.”

Rowe revealed the coronavirus pandemic, which caused League One to be abandoned after only two rounds, has extended his career.

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“When I joined Hunslet at the beginning of 2020 my basic plan was to consider retiring at the end of the year,” he said.

“The campaign never got going though, because of Covid-19, so I’m keen to put in another season and take it from there.

“I’m confident we can make a big impact in the battle for promotion and I’m looking forward to being part of the bid.”

Boardman said: “It’s exciting to be at Hunslet. It means a lot that Gary Thornton has shown such faith in me.

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“I’ll be working hard to cement my place in the side when we return to action.”

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