The Wild Wests!
Is West Hull one of the best amateur rugby teams in the country? West Hull under 12's, 13's, 18's and First Team (who play in NCL Premier) have all featured in high profile games, including cup finals and challenge cup appearances. But what makes this club so dominant? I spoke to coaches and players including ex West Hull player; Harry Tyson-Wilson, who came through the ranks at West Hull to sign professional contracts with Hull FC and York City Knights.
Kieran Wilson, 18, has played for West Hull for the past 4 years. Kieran said "We like to play a fast style of rugby and push teams onto the back foot with quick play the balls, we then strike out wide through the halves and outside backs". The talented half-back was awarded man of the match at the Under 18 Yorkshire finals which West Hull won 24-14. "West Hull is successful due to the togetherness of all the age groups and the hard work behind the scenes from coaching staff and volunteers".
Last Week Grassroots Rugby Media covered the U13 Hull and District Cup final and what an exciting clash it turned out to be! You can watch the highlights of the game by clicking the button below!
West Hull under-13's are not short of talent, with each player finding the try line this season and confident playing in at least 3 different positions. Captain, Callum Chapman who pedominantly plays loose-forward, was very impressive during the final, scoring and assisting several tries.
"I've played for West Hull for the past 6 years, and it means a lot to be under 13's captain and to be the leader. Our defence has been really strong and we have hardly conceded any points" - Callum Chapman.
Having dominated the Hull and District League and Cup, West Hull Under 13's now set their sights on playing in the Yorkshire Junior Leagues. Callum shared his thoughts on West Hull 13's moving up to playing in Yorkshire. "We are ready! It will be a challenge, and we may struggle at the start due to new teams and unfamiliar grounds but I am confident we can handle it".
I recently caught up with Harry Tyson-Wilson to discuss his amateur playing memories at West Hull. Harry worked his way up through the West Hull youth teams before signing as a professional at Hull FC. Harry is now playing professionally for York City Knights. I tried to pick his brains on West Hull's secrets to success.
"I started playing rugby for West Hull when I was just 5 years old, with my older brother Bobby. I joined Hull FC full-time when I was 16. West Hull as a club value developing young people into good players and great people. I have had a few different coaches whilst at West Hull, Shane Adams was my first coach, however my dad (Rob Wilson - also an ex-pro and Hull FC player) coached my team for the majority of my amateur days"
We went on to discuss the importance of West Hull for grassroots rugby and some of the notable players he's played with.
"West Hull are great for grassroots rugby because they attract good numbers playing the game at every age group and we produce confident and skillful people. The funniest player I played with at West Hull was George Scotto, he used to make me laugh constantly without even trying! The toughest player I played alongside at West Hull was Calvin Parker, I'm not sure if he was tough, but he had a smudged nose so he looked it!
So what makes West Hull so successful? West Hull produce great amateur rugby players who go on to play the game they love as a professional. The final word on this subject came from Under 13's Coach Glyn Jones
"I think its simply down to good coaching. We coach to develop from a young age and results don't matter until they get older. This way every player gets to play and develop. The late developers are given time to flourish at West Hull.".
Written by Shawn Boatin