6th October 2017, 20:00
HURST'S HORNETS MOVE A "NO-BRAINER"
Rochdale Hornets have snapped up exciting prospect Earl Hurst, as the powerful centre joins from North Wales Crusaders for the 2018 season.
Rochdale Hornets have signed exciting prospect Earl Hurst from North Wales Crusaders for the 2018 season, as their squad continues to take shape.
The centre has had an incredible rise from the amateur game to the semi-professional ranks, having started his career at Wigan St Cuthberts.
He enjoyed a two-year spell with Wigan Warriors under 18’s before returning to his community club, but when Cuthberts folded he opted to join Wigan St Pats.
It was there that North Wales snapped him up, and Hurst revealed that his latest move to the Championship is the stuff of dreams.
“Anthony Murray asked me if I wanted to come and play for North Wales Crusaders, which was a bit of a surprise just two years after leaving St Cuthberts,” he explained.
“Then for Rochdale to come in now and give me the chance to step up again to the Championship is even more unbelievable.
“Four years ago I was playing on a muddy field in the middle of a council estate, and now I’m stepping up to Championship level which is unbelievable.
“I’d have never have thought it if someone had told me a few years back, but here we are.”
Back in 2015 he also represented his country, as he made a try scoring appearance for England Lions in their 56-10 victory over Wales Dragonhearts.
When Rochdale came knocking there was no doubt in his mind, as he jumped at the chance to join the historic club.
After speaking to new coach Alan Kilshaw he was sold on making the move to Hornets, as his plans for the upcoming season impressed.
“I’d heard Killer might have been interested in me and my agent got in touch with me and told me a Championship side were in for me.
“I asked him which team and when he told me it was Rochdale it was a no-brainer. I thought yes straight away.
“I’d asked a few people, like Muzz because he had brought me from the amateur game, and I asked him would it be a good idea to step up and if I was ready and he said yes.
“He told me to jump at it because a chance like this might not come around again, and he told me I was more than ready for it.
“As soon as I spoke to Killer and he told me the plans for next year, and he showed me around the facilities at Padgate it was a no-brainer really.”
After an impressive second year with Crusaders, where he crossed for nine tries in 17 games, Hurst is looking to show what he can do in both defence and attack once he gets started at Rochdale.
“I pride myself on my defence and not leaking tries down my edge, as well as scoring tries,” he continued.
“Obviously it’s nice to score tries but I want to provide them as well as being solid in defence.
“I’m looking to help the team out defensively as well as in attack, and showcase all aspects of my game.”
The excitement is building for the former amateur rugby league star, as he is looking forward to beginning the next chapter of his career.
Hurst will be looking to take his chance with both hands, and prove the step-up from League 1 isn’t too big of a jump.
“I can’t wait to get started to be honest. I just want to rip in, in pre-season and see how I get on.
“I just want to play that first game and kick-on from there, so I can prove that I am worthy of stepping up a level.
“I’m just looking to have a solid season and play the best that I can. I’ll be ripping in, in training, and I’ll see where it takes me.
“Hopefully it’ll all work out.”
His new head coach Kilshaw is delighted to have captured the powerful centre as he adds to his already impressive back line.
He also paid tribute to former Crusaders boss Murray for spotting his talent and giving him a chance to prove his worth.
“Earl is a player who first came to our attention last season with his performances for Crusaders,” explained the Hornets chief.
“Anthony Murray pulled him out of the amateur game and deserves credit for giving him that opportunity.
“He has furthered developed this season under Mike Grady, and we believe he is more than ready now to step up and play Championship rugby.
“We have a really exciting back line next season and Earl will be a big threat with the ball in hand, and will be really physical in defence.”
Early bird prices are now available on season tickets for the forthcoming campaign, so make sure you BACK THE TEAM IN 2018 by taking advantage of this limited time offer. For more info on how to purchase your season ticket, and for prices click here.