Midlands Hurricanes

6 Jan 2022

Midlands Hurricanes plan play-off charge with new recruits

Midlands Hurricanes plan play-off charge with new recruits

On the eve of their first season as Midlands Hurricanes in Betfred league 1, the club have announced a raft of new signings and re-signings from Coventry Bears.

Here's a rundown of their off-season news:

In November, Sam Bowring became their first re-signing. Commenting on the news, he said: "The club is taking positive steps every year and I want to be part of this promising project."

Derby Elks product Jack Dawson soon followed in re-signing for the club: "Support from the fans and community has been great it was great to see people from my old club Derby Elks at home games so I’m looking forward to seeing it continue into 2022."

Will Budd, Elliot Windley, Brad Sheridan and Harry Kaufman are also re-signings for the club in 2022 and Kaufman, who first joined Coventry Bears as a National Conference League Division 3 club in 2011, said:

"Although I enjoyed representing Coventry Bears, I can't wait to get started with the Midlands Hurricanes, hopefully expanding the reach to new areas in the Midlands.

"The vision the club has made it an easy decision to stick with them having started back on the journey in 2011 back in NCL 3 and now this season the minimum aim to be the League 1 playoffs. I'm excited to be part of the squad that will push on this season."

And the club haven't stopped there as a host of new recruits head for Birmingham next season.

Betfred League 1 points machine Benn Hardcastle arguably headlines the list of fresh arrivals.

The halfback clocked a record-breaking 449 pooints in just 55 games for Newcastle Thunder between 2016 and 2017, before a prolific spell at Keighley Cougars where he managed 442 points in 40 games.

His signing was revealed in November and Hurricanes boss Richard Squires said: "I'm over the moon to welcome Benn on board this year, he will bring a whole new dimension to our game."

While Hardcastle is looking forward to a new challenge after a year away from the game: "I wanted to be a part of something new.

"In 2021 the team was competitive, but I think they lacked in a bit of consistency and I feel it’s something that I can bring to the team and help achieve that.

"I'd been in contact with Rich over the last season and he started to put together a strong squad that can compete for the play-offs and it excites me to be a part of that.

"I've had a year out from the game and that is a year too long. I am excited to get back on the field, play some good rugby and hopefully help the team push for the play-offs in 2022."

The club have also welcomes Anthony Bowman, who counts Batley, Oldham and Halifax amongst his former clubs and is aiming for a place in Ireland's World Cup squad at the end of the year.

He said: "I believe this club is on the rise and I feel with the experience I can bring and hopefully assist with the team I feel we can be pushing at the very least for the play offs.

"That, combined with the fact it’s my last chance to play in a World Cup, it something I would love to bow out on and have a massive season!"

Outside back AJ Boardman is a further recruit for the Midlands outfit this season as he joins after two years with Hunslet.

Squires commented: "I'm looking forward to seeing how he progresses this year and proving to people he is more than capable at competing at this level."

Elsewhere, local prop Trae O'Sullivan, a product of the original Midlands Hurricanes Academy, returns to Rugby League with the club after a stint in rugby union.

He has been followed by Jordan Bull from Sheffield Eagles and Phil Cowburn from West Wales Raiders, while local Coventry product James Phillips has also been offered the chance to show what he can do after making the switch from rugby union.

And rounding off their recruitment news is a raft of promising arrivals from the University game.

Sean Croston, Tyler Walton, Nathan Newbound and Aaron Stephenson all join having caught the eye while playing for Northumbria University.