15th March 2013, 21:16
TO HULL AND BACK - WITH JON ELLIS
WALES RL OFFICER JON RECKONS CRUSADERS WILL HAVE A BIG TASK AGAINST HIS OLD SIDE
WALES Rugby League development officer Jon Ellis knows exactly what North Wales Crusaders will be in for when they travel to West Hull for their Tetley's Challenge Cup tie.
Jon; who is developing rugby league in West Wales; was once a player with the prestigious Conference Premiership side. Jon gained most of his rugby league experience in Yorkshire, starting off as a Hull schools and Yorkshire representative player.
Jon said: "I spent three seasons at West Hull from 1993 to 1996 playing as a three-quarter, and in the first two seasons we were unbeaten.
“There are lots of budding and ex-professional players at West Hull and the Premiership is a very tough and unforgiving league to play in.Crusaders will have to be on top of their game and having worked with Clive Griffiths with Wales students, I am sure they will be thoroughly versed in the playing structure of West Hull.”
Hull is massive on rugby league, you are born with a rugby league ball in your hands. The majority of us who played for Hull schools and Yorkshire ended up at Hull and Hull Kingston Rovers Academy and if not there played at the highest amateur level for the likes of Skirlaugh, Hull Dockers and West Hull, so these players are well honed rugby league players."
West Hull beat another former club of Jon's Hull Dockers in the Cup this season, so they are used to playing in high pressure games.
However will Jon be rooting for his former club? "I don't think so," he said. "My grandfather was a Welshman and my wife is Welsh, me and my family's roots are in Wales. I just hope it is a real spectacle for all the fans. Crusaders play a really exciting brand of rugby league, they are a good, well drilled team with an experienced rugby league coach behind them and they will be very hard to beat."