Leon Stewart: One for the future!
In a vindicated attempt to avoid unnecessary pressure on the younger players, there has been very few rumblings of the name Leon Stewart amongst City of Hull Staff, but if you saw him play Rugby it would certainly be a name you wouldn’t forget.
Given the purpose of this platform is to showcase Grassroots talent, Leon Stewart ticks all the right boxes.Despite his relatively small frame, Leon is a powerful ball carrier and a punishing tackler. Prior to signing at City of Hull Academy, Stewart played both Rugby Union and Rugby League for the school team and attracted interest from clubs within both codes. The talented 2nd rower has since settled in at City of Hull Academy and is tipped to have a big season this year.
It was at Sirius Academy Secondary School in West Hull, where Leon first started playing rugby, and as his Rugby Union coach I do take little credit in nurturing him into the player he is today!
Leon then went on to sign for Community Rugby League Club West Hull, where his rugby skills developed tenfold before he was picked up by City of Hull Academy.
Last week Leon was one of 68 Under-16 players named by The RFL and selected by England Youth Head Coach Danny Wilson, to participate in a National Performance training squad. Danny Wilson and his staff will then select players from this 68 strong cohort to play a number of international test matches later this year.
Here’s what Leon had to say to GRM SPORT in regards to his grassroots Story and his reaction to being named part of the 68-man England Squad.
What got you into rugby?
” I never thought about playing rugby until I was in year 7 at Sirius Academy West. At the time I only started to play rugby to get a feel of the game however once I played my first game I knew it was the sport for me.
“There have been many influences on my rugby career since then. One of them being my community club West Hull who gave me all the opportunities to make it as far as I have done. But I have to say the biggest influence by far is my school teachers who pushed me from the start and constantly support me going forward.
How would you describe your time playing for West Hull?
“ I have many good memories playing for West Hull, one of my greatest memories at Wests came early this Year when we won the Yorkshire cup and League, being cut short of both last year but we hope to complete the treble by bringing home the national cup!
You’ve since gone on to sign for City of Hull, what has been the greatest lesson you’ve learnt during your time at COHA?
“ One of the most important lessons I’ve learnt at City Of Hull is that you should always take your opportunities to better yourself as a player because sometimes those opportunities don’t come again.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
“ Hopefully I would like to see myself playing for one of our Super League clubs, Hull FC and Hull KR.
What is your reaction to being named part of the 68-man national performance squad?
“ I am very excited to be included in the National training squad, and I can’t wait to show them what I can bring to the table, hopefully making it into the starting 13!
Finally, what do you get up to outside of Rugby?
“ Even outside of rugby I cant keep away from the rugby life, I’m always at the gym!