The eagerly anticipated X-Colts game vs. Vale of Lune is now only a day away (Wednesday 21st December 6.30pm KO). In the run up to the this game the website has been featuring the players set to return and play for the club to help remind people of these past players or give an insight into ‘who they are’ for those of you who may well have never seen or heard of them. As promised here are some more…
Nail Crossley – Centre = Niall is still a registered colt but unfortunately can rarely play due to Hartpury College and Sale Commitments. Nail is another winner of the ‘Founders Cup’ in his U16’s season at Hoppers after representing England A, he has since gone on to gain national representative honors at U17/18 level.
Oga Mabaya – Prop = played for hoppers since 2005 after moving from Zimbabwe. Oga played colts 2 seasons ago and currently play for hoppers 1st/ 2nds when he can manage to travel back to Preston from Liverpool John Moores University where he is studying sports technology.
Jimmy Gray – Back Row = Jimmy played for Hoppers colts until last season. He was part of the team that won inaugural Lancashire 7’s with Hoppers at end of last season. He is in his 2nd year at the University of Cumbria – studying sports and exercise science. He currently plays for the University 1st team as well as Hoppers 3/4th team when he is home for the weekend.
Sam Gibb – 13 = Sam last played at hoppers 3/4 years ago. He started at hoppers when he was 8 and played through till 16. He then Played for 3 years in Lancaster whilst at university and currently work as a sales assistant for Asda.
Tom Grimes – 10/15 = Tom last played for the colts 2 seasons ago and has since left Preston to study at University in Northumberland where he now plays. Tom has a good turn of pace on the pitch, though he seems to forget about it at times!
Oli Sly – 10 = Oli last played at Hoppers 3-4 seasons ago and received his knee high to a grasshopper award at the end of his time in the mini-junior section, during which time he also picked up three Lancashire cup winners medals. Oli left the colts after two seasons to spend a year playing with Tarleton 1st team but has not played for 12 months.
Greg Billington – 2nd row = Greg ended his time with Hoppers after his final year of Colts last season. Greg works on his family diary farm in Bilsborrow and now plays for Garstang 1st team.
Howard Clark – back Row = Howard played colt’s rugby at Hoppers about 5 years ago but no longer plays after a series of injuries, he now spends his time working as an entertainer in a renowned Blackpool Nightclub.
Greg Horsfall – 13/15 = Greg played his first ever season of rugby as junior colt 2 years ago at Hoppers. At the end of last season, Greg’s 2nd, he was loaned to Manchester 1st XV for their final game of the season and played a number club 2nd team games. Greg is still a registered colt but no longer plays due to now studying at University in Leeds and playing at Otley. We hope to see that his rapid development has continued when he plays on Wednesday.
Bertie Shaw – 12 = Bertie is another player that is still currently registered as a Colt but is no longer playing, owing to having left the area to study at University. Although it is stated above that Bertie prefers inside centre, he willingly played in virtually every position during his time with the colts.
Speaking on the game on behalf of the Rugby Management Gareth Dyer said “This is a great idea that has been given real energy by the hard work of our RDO Kai Burns. This age group is always a difficult one to manage given the demands of university and lots of lads moving out of the area. For them to be kept involved and part of the club is a great way of ensuring the players keep their Hoppers identity. As a former Hoppers Colt myself, there is a real sense of pride in seeing our Colts teams play and I’m just gutted I’m too old and unfit to be able to play myself! I hope both teams enjoy the game and catching up with their mates and I hope Kai enjoys the fruits of his labours”.
If there are other players who will be taking part tomorrow who have not supplied a profile and further additions are still welcome so If you are an ex colt/mini-junior player aged between 18-23 and would like to play on the 21st December please contact Kai Burns on 07894-489730 or firstname.lastname@example.org or come along to the club at 5.30pm.