Elliot Wallis: The step up from Academy to Super League
As a hybrid Academy formed by the combination of players and resources from both Hull FC and Hull Kingston Rovers a few years ago, City of Hull Academy have developed into a formidable camp with a host of talented youngsters.
I've been to watch the Academy and featured them in a few GRM episodes which you can watch at the end of this article!
Under the guidance of local rugby legends Jason Netherton and Rob Wilson, several of the Academy players have also been tipped to become Super League stars of the future. I recently caught up with Elliot Wallis, 18, who made is Super League debut for Hull KR in a much needed win over Wigan. Standing at over 6 foot tall, the outside-back certainly doesn't look out of place in a Super League dressing room, despite his tender age. I was keen to discuss Elliot's Grassroots Story and his journey through the Academy. Here's what Wallis had to say to GRM:
1. Where did you play your junior rugby and who was the most influential person in terms of your development at the time?
" I started at Bilton Sullys, however I played the majority of my amateur rugby with Skirlaugh Bulls who provided me with a lot of opportunities to play with both open age sides when i was only 16. My mum was the most influential person as she was the first person to introduce me to the sport and always got me down to every training session when i was young!"
2. Who was your rugby hero growing up?
" When I started watching rugby my two heroes were Ben Cockayne and Peter Fox! There isn't a particular reason other then the fact I liked the idea of being a Hull KR winger!
3. What is your greatest memory playing for City of Hull Academy?
"One of my best memories playing for City of Hull was whilst we travelled to Cyprus for our Pre-Season training camp! We all pushed our bunk beds together to create a den which we all slept in for the rest of the week!
4. Following a very impressive Super League debut, what advice have you received from the coach and other first team players?
" Since my debut the coaching staff have said I need to work on my body position and taking the ball into contact. From the rest of the squad, Justin Carney has given me the most advice. After training and games he always comes over with a few tips and pointers on how I can do things better!"
5. What do you think you offer most at Hull KR?
" The two main things I bring to the table are aggression and pace!
6. You are also 1 of 3 players picked to represent England Academy, who else at City of Hull do you think is talented enough to warrant a call up?
"There are plenty of lads that could have easily been picked for the England side but if I had to pick one, I would definitely say Mikey Lewis! It is only his first year at academy but he's been absolutely killing and he has a great attitude!"
7. Finally, what advice would you give to young Grassroots players hoping to also make a Super League debut one day?
" The best advice I could give is don’t let anyone tell you that you can't or wont make it!"
Thanks for taking the time to speak to GRM Elliot! All the best in your playing career!
Written by Shawn Boatin