A RUGBY league rookie from Stamford Bridge has taken to the sport so well that he has been taken on trial by Super League high-fliers Castleford Tigers.
Seventeen-year-old Connor Page, who plays prop for Heworth ARLC Under-18s, has begun a four-week trial at Wheldon Road and could well turn out in the Tigers’ under-19s match against Salford on Sunday.
Page, who only took up the sport 16 months ago, has already broken into Heworth’s senior team, who play in the National Conference League third division, and he has impressed so much that head coach Tim Rumford had no qualms in suggesting the Super League side take a look at him. York City Knights are also monitoring his progress, as are Hull FC, who have links with Bishop Burton College where the teenager studies.
Rumford is a former academy coach at Cas and still has links with the club. He said: “When I spoke to them they thought the fact he has only been playing rugby league for something like 16 months - yet comes up with such high levels of performance - means there could be a lot more to come.
“He’s the perfect example of a late developer. If his progress in the next 16 months is anything like his progress in the last 16, there’s a good chance he could make it as an elite player.”
Rumford said Page’s trial with Cas also put the Heworth club in good light.“For Heworth to be progressing players to that level is a massive thing,” he said.
“We’re not in the game of keeping hold of players for our benefit - we try to help them progress for their own development so they can achieve as much as possible. That’s the most important thing.”
He added: “Mark Richmond and Phil Sturdy (Heworth U18s coaches) have done a great job with the U18s. We’ve got lots of players coming in and asking to have a go in the open age and this is testament to the work they’ve done.”