MOST PLAYERS spend the day after a game nursing their bruises, but Leeds Rhinos prop Jack Ormondroyd had more important matters on his mind following the win over Hull last Friday.
Ormondroyd’s partner Sophie gave birth to a boy, Charlie, last Friday night, just 25 hours after Rhinos got back on track with a tense 20-16 victory at Headingley.
The birth was more than a month premature, but mother and son are doing fine and a stunned dad is adjusting to being a new father a lot sooner than expected.
“It was a bit of a shock,” Ormondroyd, who was among the substitutes against Hull, said of Charlie’s arrival.
“He was six weeks and two days early, but they are both fine.
“Because he was born so early he was put into the special care unit straight away, but he is doing really well.
“He has been moved out of there now and he is on the transitional care ward at Pinderfields, so I spent all weekend in there.”
Warrington prop Chris Hill famously left their opening game of the season – against Rhinos last month – to attend the birth of his daughter and Ormondroyd might have been in a similar situation if last week’s game had been played on Rhinos’ regular matchnight.
“It is a good job we weren’t playing on Friday,” Ormondroyd said.
“We played on Thursday night and she woke up struggling on Friday morning so we rushed into Pinderfields and we had him 11 o’clock on Friday night.
“We were a little bit worried because he was so early, but he is okay.
“He was 5lb 1oz so that’s a decent size for six weeks early and everything’s looking good.”
The couple were taken by surprise, but Ormondroyd added: “Luckily we got organised quite early.
“When it was Black Friday before Christmas we got all the stuff in the sales so we were pretty much ready.”
Ormondroyd, 27, joined Rhinos from Featherstone Rovers ahead of the 2017 season.
He made six appearances last term and is ever-present so far this year, also having turned out for Rovers on dual-registration.
“It has been a good couple of months,” he said.
“It is an amazing experience becoming a dad and a great experience playing in the World Club Challenge – two very different things, but both amazing in their own right.”
In another new experience, Ormondroyd filled in at centre – after an injury to Anthony Thackeray – for most of his appearance for Rovers in a win at Leigh Centurions two weeks ago.
Rhinos had no game that weekend after the visit of Catalans Dragons was postponed. He said: “I was meant to be playing in the Catalans game, but with that being off I was glad I played for Featherstone because it meant I didn’t have to have a week off.
“I have had a couple of average performances in the last couple of games and I’ve been working hard in training.
“That’s why I went into training on Monday – I wanted to keep working rather than having a few days off.
“Hopefully I can improve over the next few weeks.”
Ormondroyd chose not to take paternity leave.
He added: “They are still in hospital so there’s not a lot I can do anyway but it is a good job to have when you’ve got a baby.
“If I was working nine to five I’d have to take leave, but we are done by dinner time so I can come into training and then dash off to the hospital, so it’s not too bad.”