Young Shaw Cross Sharks prospect Elliott Richardson is hoping for more first team action this year after making his debut.
The forward made his first appearance for the Sharks in the pre-season victory at Dewsbury Celtic last weekend, before backing that up with another top performance in the Challenge Cup against Haydock.
Having come through the youth ranks at club, the 17-year-old admits that it’s a big step up to playing men’s rugby, saying: “You’re going against people like 15 years older so it’s more physical.”
Richardson has been around the club from a young age, continuing right through the ranks to make his way into the open age side.
“I started playing rugby at Shaw Cross when I was about eight, and was ball boy for the first team,” he said.
His efforts were rewarded last autumn when he received a call-up for the county side at Under 17 level.
“I played for Yorkshire [under 17s] against Lancashire and Cumbria and that was good. We lost both games but it was a good experience to represent Yorkshire,” he said.
That experience has already been used to good effect with the Sharks this year, with coach Paul March picking him out as a standout in Saturday’s Challenge Cup clash.
After the game, March said: “I thought he was outstanding last week at Dewsbury Celtic but today I think he’s grown from an under 18s player to a first team player. Physically he held his own and looked good, so I’m excited as to what he can do.”
Updated 10:52 - 29 Jan 2019 by Stephen Ibbetson