Michael Greenhalgh: Aiming for the top!
The London 9s Rugby tournament was a huge success for several reasons. Not only did the tournament highlight the potential for Rugby League to thrive in the South of England, but it also gave me an opportunity to showcase some seriously talented individuals on GRM.
Players from all over the World travelled to take part in the tournament, so the talent on display was top drawer, but I was particularly impressed by the Greenhalg twins who played for London Spartans.
The Spartans played very attractive rugby, and I recently caught up with 6ft English-Filipino Prop Michael Greenhalg, 24, who played in instrumental role in his teams journey to the London 9s final, with a shock victory over Australian outfit Queensland all-stars.
Here’s what Michael had to say to GRM:
1 Sum up your experience at the LDN9s tournament this summer
“ LDN 9s was a awesome day out, full of talent and skill! I haven’t played 9s in a long time so it was nice to have so much space. I will definitely be back maybe with my own team!”
2 Rugby League is perceived as a Northern England/ Ozzy sport. What attracted you to the game in London?
“ My dad is from Bolton and as a kid I used to watch a lot of league, as soon as I heard it was played in London I jumped at it and swapped codes after trials for London Broncos at 19, I was then passed onto Skolars and played a year of 19s from playing against men, I found it easy and earned a contract with the First Team along with my twin brother Judd.
3 How would you describe this 2018 season with the Skolars?
“ This season has been a tough slog , the league is getting more and more competitive and every game is a challenge , we are building as a team and can challenge those Northern heartland teams just as well as any when we play well”
4 For those who haven't seen you play, how would you describe your playing style?
“ I would say my style is very Aggressive , skilful , direct with good footwork I know how to run it hard as well as finding gaps with good footwork as well and being able to pass the ball as good as a half back”
5 What has been your greatest rugby memory so far, and what is your long term goal?
“ My debut in 2012 at 18 playing against a well drilled Rochdale side at Spotland stadium, was a good experience playing against some really strong and skilful guys, they gave you no respect at that age ha! Also a 3 page spread in Rugby League World magazine, I was interviewed for the paper and received coverage for my achievements so far in my career.
In terms of my long term goal, I would love to play the the highest level I can personally reach, and also to represent the Philippines at a world stage i.e World Cup or another international tournament /test series”
6 What do you think Rugby League needs to improve the game, especially in the south of England?
“ I think a lot more coverage in Rugby League in general, many people in the south don’t even realise there are two types of Rugby! There is a lot of talent down here and several star players in the Super League are southern based boys.
I’ve seen the NCL receive TV coverage on Premier Sport and they are only amateur , imagine having League One games being covered and what exposure that could have for the sport down here , We would get more people through the turn stiles and generate more money!”