2 days ago
The following statement has been released from the Chairman and Board of Swinton Lions RLFC.
04 January 2019
Stuart Littler has named his leadership group ahead of the 2019 Betfred Championship campaign, which will be led by Captain Rhodri Lloyd and Vice-Captain Will Hope.
Stuart Littler has named Welsh International Rhodri Lloyd as the new Swinton Lions club captain for the 2019 season, with Will Hope taking up the vice-captain position.
The 25-year-old Welsh international, who has also captained his country, enters his fourth season for the Lions after another sterling year in the famous blue shirt, where he scored 7 tries in 31 appearances.
Lloyd recently committed himself to the club long-term, signing a fresh two-year deal which will keep him at Heywood Road until the end of the 2020 season.
He played a pivotal role for Swinton in 2018, a season in which he finished with two crucial tries against Workington Town in the play-off final to secure the Lions’ Championship status.
A favourite among the Heywood Road faithful, Lloyd received multiple awards at the End of Season Presentation Evening, scooping the Fans’ Player of the Year, the Coaches’ Player of the Year and the Players’ Player of the Year awards.
Delighted upon receiving the captaincy, Lloyd said: “I’m honoured to captain this historical club, and extremely grateful of the opportunity to lead this young hard working team. Hopefully we can create successful memories for our great fan base!”
Another international star, Will Hope, joins Lloyd in the Lions’ leadership group after being named vice-captain.
Hope featured in Stuart Littler’s Ireland squad at the European Championships, as the Wolfhounds sadly failed to reach the World Cup through automatic qualification, but will have another opportunity to feature in the tournament via the play-off tournament.
The 25-year-old forward joined Lloyd in signing a new long-term deal with the club during the off-season.
Mike Butt, Luke Waterworth, Kyle Shelford and Ben Austin round off the leadership group in the Lions squad.
Lions Head Coach Stuart Littler, who played alongside Lloyd for Swinton in 2015, said: “I’m delighted to announce our 2019 leadership group who have each been selected with specific roles identified. Each player adds real value to what we are aiming to build at Swinton Lions.
“I am personally made up for Rhodri to be announced captain as he really led from the front with his performances and attitude last year.
Rhod has already captained his country and is definitely ready to step into the role.
“He will be supported well by Will Hope who also boasts international pedigree and is a player who is very well respected both within our group and also by fellow coaches within the Championship competition.
“We have made a real push this year to get everything right with our culture and environment and we will continue to evolve.
“To supplement this, following a leadership activity in late December we have also identified that Mike Butt, Luke Waterworth, Kyle Shelford and Benny Austin will join our leadership team and drive standards.
“Leaders create leaders and everyone we have chosen has a depth of reasoning behind it. The season is nearly upon us and we are all excited for what it will bring.”