In Rugby League, grassroots is an essential part of the game. Getting young people in the game is a brilliant trait many different clubs have in the British game and in Super League there are many young talents breaking into first teams so far this season. Here at NothingButLeague we are taking a look at some of the players who are a breath of fresh air so far in 2018.
Hakim Miloudi ~ Hull F.C.
The Black & Whites have been struggling with injuries this season which is the main reason why they’ve not yet broke into the leagues top four. Apart from new signing Bureta Fariemo, all of Lee Radford’s first choice wingers are injured. So comes the turn of Jack Logan and Hakim Miloudi although the young Frenchman has been especially impressive.
So far this year he has scored 4 tries in 9 appearances for F.C. His most controversial performance was away to the Warrington Wolves when it appeared he has bitten Chris Hill’s arm in a tackle but no action was taken. On the flip side, his most impressive performance was against Huddersfield away from home, Hull were defeated but playing at Fullback, Miloudi put in a good performance.
In terms of his skills, he is a small outside-back meaning he can break tackles and he is a fast runner. He has fitted right in at the KCOM Stadium and feels right at home and you can see the evidence in his Rugby. A consistent name on the team sheet and I imagine Super League fans will be seeing a lot more of him in the future.
Josh Woods ~ Wigan Warriors
Again, Wigan are another side with many injuries to deal with but soon to leave head coach, Shaun Wane always has the best back up plan; he always turns to the academy. Some of Wigan’s best players have come up through the ranks at the DW Stadium. Tom Davies, Liam Marshall, Sam Powell, Sean O’loughlin and George Williams. On July 6th, Wigan played host to arch enemies, the Warrington Wolves and it was a drop goal 13-12 win for the Warriors, which was won by youngster Josh Woods. After Josh Charnley try but a failed conversion from Stefan Ratchford, Woods seized his opportunity to win Wigan the game. Ever since then the Wigan number 34 has been a first teamer in replacement to George Williams and has been performing to a very high standard for a 20 year old.
His main threat is his running game but after his performance versus the Wolves, you could go as far as saying its his kicking. With players around him such as, O’Loughlin, Clubb, Bateman, Farrell and Sam Tomkins, he already has great tutors to guide him as well as Shaun Wane and the coaching staff. I will be shocked if Woods’ career doesn’t go the same was George Williams has, with him being a Wigan first teamer for years to come.
Callum Turner ~ Castleford Tigers
Callum Turner has made three appearances so far for the Tigers in 2018 but in those matches he has scored a try and kicked 8 goals. His debut came away from home against Hull F.C. where he scored a try in Cas’ 36-12 defeat. He also helped kick Daryl Powell’s men to victory at the Halliwell Jones Stadium when Castleford beat Warrington 30-34. Similar to Hull’s Hakim Miloudi, Turner has a great running ability where he can make breaks through opposition lines. His kicking game is also a strong part of his game, with him being a Fullback and a Halfback. With the youngster only having three appearances to his name, I am certain we will see more of him in future seasons.
Danny Walker ~ Widnes Vikings
Widnes, a side known to struggle most seasons in Super League, have been even more down on their luck in 2018 due to injuries to key players. Injury to Fullback, Rhys Hanbury has been one. It’s been a damaging one for the Vikings as a team but not for Danny Walker as an individual. A points during the season, the Widnes number 23 has took his opportunity when it came and shone!
Being a hooker isn’t the hardest of roles to play in a team but you need to ensure the play the ball is correct and this is something Walker thrives at. After watching the young prospect in 3 of his 12 appearances so far in 2018, he is more of a runner than a passer. When you see how Warrington’s number 9 plays, Daryl Clark, well that’s the hooker Walker likes to be; running from dummy half. Scoring 2 tries in 12 matches from hooker isn’t the worst statistic, especially in a team such as Widnes who are struggling in 12th position.
As well as making a breakthrough in Super League, Walker was this week named in the England Knights Elite performance squad along with Widnes teammates, Tom Gilmore and Matt Whitley.