BIG FORWARD Jack Ormondroyd has had a taste of playing front of a five-figure crowd – and is hoping for more.
Ormondroyd was among Leeds Rhinos’ substitutes in their 30-6 home loss to Wakefield Trinity on Boxing Day.
He scored Rhinos’ only try on his first appearance for the club and says the experience has whetted his appetite for the big time, despite the result.
More than 10,000 fans turned up for the Wetherby Whaler Festive Challenge and Ormondroyd, who joined has Leeds from Featherstone Rovers on a three-year contract, said: “It was really good to play in front of a crowd like that.
“I am not used to it so it was really good and I am looking forward to hopefully playing a few games this year.”
The 25-year-old has never played at the top level and stressed he is prepared to bide his time.
“I want to play as many games as I can, that’s the main aim for this year,” he added.
“I haven’t set a target, it could be one game or 10 or 20, I’ll just see how it goes.
“It is all new to me. We’ve got a few more friendlies and hopefully I will keep improving, put some good performances in and show Brian [McDermott, Rhinos’ coach] what I can do.”
Ormondroyd was one of the few positives from a disappointing opening pre-season game for Rhinos, who conceded six tries.
“It was really nice to get my first hit-out,” he said.
“It is always nice to play for your new club, especially a club like Leeds in front of 10,000.
“It was amazing to run out with the lads.
“It wasn’t the result we wanted, we wanted to get the win, but there’s quite a lot of things we can take out of that game.
“We will come back in January and have a look at that and learn from our mistakes.”
Of his own performance, Ormondroyd reflected: “I think in offence I carried the ball quite hard and did all right in the first half.
“At the start of the second half we were pinned on our own line a bit and it was tough.
“It was nice to get over for a try, but I would have preferred to get a win – that would have made it much nicer.”
Ormondroyd has been working alongside his new teammates since pre-season training began in November.
It is his first experience of a full-time environment and he insisted: “I am absolutely loving it.
“They are a great bunch of lads and I think I am learning quite a lot as well.
“It is nice to have a coach like Brian McDermott, we’ve got great conditioners and Adrian Morley has just come in as well so it’s great to have him around.”
Morley, who began his career at Leeds before spells with Sydney Roosters, Bradford Bulls, Warrington Wolves and Salford Red Devils, is Rhinos’ new academy coach and will also be assisting with the first team.
“He’s always around and it’s nice to have him there if you want to go see him for a bit of advice,” Ormondroyd said of the ex-Great Britain forward.
“He has done it all.”