RATU RUGBY RETURN WITH THE LIONS
18 hours ago
The club is delighted to confirm the signing of centre Mike Ratu for the 2019 Betfred Championship season.
08 November 2018
The club is delighted to confirm the signing of Gavin Bennion on a one-year deal for the 2019 Championship season.
Swinton Lions are delighted to announce that Gavin Bennion has put pen to paper on a one-year deal to be the club’s marquee player for the 2019 Championship season.
The 24-year-old prop forward, who can also play at second row, is currently on international duty for Wales with fellow Lions Rhodri Lloyd and Mike Butt, but took time out of his busy schedule to secure the move to Heywood Road.
Bennion made seven appearances for the Lions during the 2018 season on loan from Super League side Salford Red Devils, and the club had beat off stiff competition from both part-time and full-time clubs to secure his signature, which was contributed towards by the Pride Builder fund.
Starting out with amateur sides Latchford Albion and Rylands Sharks, Bennion eventually made his way into the Warrington Wolves ranks at the start of his career. Bennion’s first appearance for the Lions came in 2013 on dual-registration from the Wolves, where he made his debut in a 20-10 win against Keighley Cougars. He would re-join the club again on dual-registration in 2014, making 17 appearances and scoring two tries across the two spells for the Lions.
After a spell at Halifax in 2016, he moved to Rochdale for the following year where he impressed in a Hornets shirt making 28 appearances and scoring four tries which helped the club to maintain it’s Championship status. This led to a move to the Salford Red Devils, before his switch now to Swinton Lions.
“I’m really happy to be joining Swinton Lions and can’t wait for the season to start, I have some good mates that play at Swinton and also a few new lads who have signed who I’m close with too so it made my decision easy,” Bennion said on the announcement.
“Andy and the club have been great to me over the years and especially last year when I was on loan from Salford. Stuart Littler is a great coach and is well respected in the game so I think we’re going to have a good year.”
David, Rhys and Tim issued the following statement on behalf of the Pride Builder team.
“The generosity of the club’s loyal fans is well known and their recent support for the independent Swinton Lions Pride Builder initiative is yet another example.”
“Pride Builder is an independent fund whose sole purpose is to help the club afford to bring in quality players. Players like Gavin Bennion who impressed during a brief loan spell last season when his line busting runs made him a fan’s favourite.
“Pride Builder welcomes Gavin to the club and we’re proud to have been able to help the club secure his services.”
— Swinton Lions RLFC (@Swinton_Lions) November 8, 2018
Club Chairman Andy Mazey who has been working closely with the Pride Builder team, expressed his thanks in their contribution to securing the players services.
“On behalf of the board I would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to David, Rhys, Tim and everyone contributing to the magnificent Pridebuilder fund.
“This concept was a huge help in covering the cost of some valuable additions to the squad in the second half of 2018 and clearly demonstrates the impact our supporters can have. A small additional investment each month by a large group of people adds up to one large investment which enables us to get a marque deal like this one done.
“It’s good to know that Pride Builder will be making a significant contribution to the monthly salary of this player which has enabled Stuart and I to secure his services and It’s fantastic to now be in a position to welcome Gavin back into the fold at Swinton this time as one of our own.”
Stuart Littler echoed the Chairman’s thoughts: “Amazing news to be able to announce the signing of Gavin Bennion. Gavin was in a Super League system last year and comes to us with international pedigree for Wales.
“Last year whilst on loan with us Gavin was our stand out middle. Statistics will back up this comment as Gavin was consistent in all facets of his game.
“Can I personally thank the Chairman for his commitment with this one as this is a signature that was highly coveted. Our pack is gaining stature daily,” Added Littler, who is currently leading Ireland at the European Championship.
“He is a player with a great work ethos that will support the culture we are trying to build here at Swinton. Welcome aboard Gav.”
Confirmed 2019 Squad