Hunslet sign ex-Leeds Rhinos forward Loui McConnell on loan from Featherstone Rovers
Former Leeds Rhinos loose-forward Loui McConnell has joined Hunslet on loan and is set to feature in tomorrow’s pre-season game at home to North Wales Crusaders (3pm).
McConnell, 21, came through Rhinos’ academy ranks and made two Betfred Super League appearances last season before joining Championship outfit Featherstone Rovers.
Another on-loan Featherstone player, half-back or hooker Jake Sweeting, is also included in tomorrow’s squad, along with Halifax player Sion Jones.
Trialists Jack Norfolk, a centre from East Leeds, Tom Dunford (Dewsbury Celtic- prop) and Louis Singleton (Sale Rugby Union - hooker) are set to feature in Hunslet’s first game since March 13 last year.
Hunslet have another warm-up game at home to Barrow Raiders next Sunday before their Betfred League One campaign begins against Workington Town at South Leeds Stadium on Sunday, May 8.
Coach Gary Thornton is keen to give all his players a run out tomorrow, though Niall Walker is a doubt with a back strain and said: “We’ve unfortunately lost Danny King from the squad due to work commitments, so we have taken Sion Jones, Loui McConnell and Jake Sweeting to boost the squad numbers.
“With two games back-to-back it is an ideal time to give those guys the opportunity to show us what they can do.”
Thornton added: “We’re all really excited about the game.
“Just to get back out on to the field and have a pathway to returning to some kind of normality is a massive boost for everyone.
“I don’t really like going with big squads in warm-up games as it can become a bit disjointed, but we have to be mindful of the fact the players haven’t played any competitive rugby for over 13 months now, so it’s really important not to overplay anyone and cause injuries in these two warm-up games.
“At the same time, however, we need the players to be game-sharp ready for the opening league game, so it will be a balancing act of game-time against player welfare.”
A steam of Sunday’s behind closed doors match can be booked for £4.00 via https://hunslet.mysportsonline.uk/subs/purchase. It can be viewed at https://hunslet.mysportsonline.uk/live/