Corey Hall: Teenager explains move from Leeds Rhinos to Super League rivals Wakefield Trinity
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Trinity paid an undisclosed transfer fee for Hall - who had a previous spell in their scholarship - two months ago.
The 19-year-old joined Rhinos from Wigan Warriors ahead of the 2020 campaign and was a substitute for Rhinos twice that season.
He made his only start in a Betfred Super League defeat by Castleford Tigers at St Helens last April and did not feature in Leeds’ 17 after being an unused substitute against Wigan the following week.
He had a spell on loan at York City Knights later in the campaign, but was awarded a squad number for the coming season just a week before signing for Wakefield.
With the likes of Harry Newman, Tom Briscoe, Jack Broadbent and Liam Sutcliffe all pressing for a place in Leeds’ centres, Hall felt Trinity was the right club to develop his career.
“When you’re a young lad, you want the best opportunity to play,” Hall said.
“The opportunity arose and I had to be realistic and think ‘I want game time, which club have I got the best chance at’?
Hall insisted he is grateful to Leeds for bringing him back to Yorkshire after he felt homesick at Wigan.
“My two years there, I loved it,” he said of Rhinos. “I think I flourished there.
“When I joined Leeds from Wigan it was my first season of playing centre so I had a lot to learn and catch up.
“Chev Walker [Rhinos’ academy coach] really helped me out, he was always there, helping me after training.
“In two years there I think my personality changed from a child to a man.
“It was gutting about the game time, but I feel like everything happens for a reason.
“With the games I did play, I think I took everything out of them to get better.
“That was the start for me and I think once you’ve got your starting point, you can only get better from there.”
The previous spell at Trinity has helped him settle into his latest surroundings, Hall admitted.
He said: “I am loving it; I started off in the scholarship here and have always had fond memories of Wakefield, ever since I left.
“Coming back felt natural, like I was coming back to where I belong.”
The Sheffield-born centre was in Trinity’s scholarship at the same time as several of their current squad.
“When I came there were the young lads like Harry Bowes, Dane Windrow, Yusuf Aydin and Jack Croft,” he recalled.
“The three that played on Boxing Day - Charlie Abraham, Kobe Poching and Oliver Farrar - were around when I was as well.
“It is like a blast from the past in a way.
“It is always difficult changing clubs, but it felt easier coming back to a place I’ve always had fond memories of.”
Hall had a strong game for Trinity in their Christmas fixture at Leeds and reckons that reflected the work he has done in pre-season.
“One of my goals this year is to be more physical, get bigger, faster and stronger - the cliche pre-season, but I feel like I am doing that,” he said.
“Against Leeds, I felt a lot stronger. The coaching staff have been outstanding, anything I don’t pick up, they do and I will always do my extras after training as well.”
Of Boxing Day, Hall admitted: “I was a bit nervous, running out in front of the Leeds fans, but they were good, as always.
“It felt weird, but when you make the first carry it hits you that you’re in a game so you shut out the noise once you’ve done that.
“Luckily for me, it was the second play of the game.
“It was a bit weird playing against my old teammates as well.”
Hall’s target now is to get game time in Betfred Super League this year.
“There’s quite a few injuries, so I have got a good opportunity at the minute,” he said.
“I just need to compete for my place and I will do everything I can to try and play week-in and week-out.
“It just makes Willie’s [Poching, Trinity’s coach] decision harder when there’s other centres training as hard as me, but my goal is to try and play as many games as I can.”