Castleford Tigers give former British Army and Harlequins rugby union prospect chance to impress
Castleford Tigers are giving a one-month trial to serving soldier and former Harlequins Rugby Union scrum-half Lloyd Wheeldon.
The 24-year-old is a Lance Corporal in 3 Para, but has been granted a temporary release from active service and began training with Tigers at the start of pre-season last week.
Wheeldon featured for British Army before joining Quins on a short-term contract in September, 2019 as cover for Leeds-born Danny Care.
He was released by the London club last summer and is now looking for an opportunity in rugby league.
Wheeldon, who was born in Bridlington, said: “This is my eighth year in the army, I played for the army rugby union first team, so I’ve always been a union-dominant player.
“I’ve played in high-end games like Army versus Navy and obviously got poached for Harlequins from there.”
The Yorkshireman has no experience in the 13-a-side code, but added: “I’ve always wanted to try playing rugby league and I got quite friendly with Sean Long [former Harlequins assistant-coach who is now at Leeds Rhinos] when he was down there.
“I got chatting to him about it and then put the feelers out there through my agent and then an opportunity came up for a trial with Cas after Daryl [Powell, Tigers’ team boss] showed interest.”
Powell is keen to see what Wheeldon can do in a full-time rugby league environment.
“He’s got a great attitude and he’s been in the army so he’s a tough kid,” he said.
“Getting used to the nuances of rugby league in the first couple of weeks is important for him, but I just think it is important to have a look at him and see how he goes.
“Obviously, he is not going to be able to play this month, but we get to have a good look at him and it gives him an opportunity to pick up all the little bits of rugby league.”
Support the YEP and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news and the latest on Leeds United, With a digital subscription, you see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.