Cornwall RLFC’s Latest Recruit Liam Whitton
February 26, 2022
Cornwall RLFC’s latest recruit Liam Whitton says that the lure of playing under Neil Kelly influenced his decision to join the club.
Kelly, the Super League Coach of the Year in 2002 when at Widnes’ helm, has held the reins at Championship outfits Dewsbury and Leigh too. He has also worked in rugby union at Irish side Ulster and for the Namibian and Romanian national teams.
An impressive track record in both codes, Kelly was therefore the perfect choice for Cornwall’s inaugural Betfred Legue 1 campaign which begins against North Wales Crusaders on April 2.
And the Memorial Ground chief is building an exciting blend of playing talent with Whitton’s arrival further demonstrating that Cornwall mean business in 2022.
“The coach is always a big factor in a player joining a club,” Whitton told cornwallrlfc.co.uk. “You want to learn from the best and you want to play under someone who knows what they are talking about and will teach you as a player.”
Whitton started his rugby career at local club Siddal before joining the academy set-up at Super League giants Leeds Rhinos. Whilst at Headingley, Whitton featured for the Rhinos alongside his now Cornwall stable mate Anthony Mullally. However, the 20-year-old revealed the Irish international may struggle to recall the two pulling on a Rhinos shirt together.
“My first year of academy, we ended up playing Doncaster away and he played in that game – I’m not sure if he will remember,” Whitton joked. “So I ended up playing with him and I also trained with the first team and he was part of that squad.”
Whitton’s experience of sharing a dressing room with the likes of Mullally will be invaluable to the Choughs cause in 2022. And despite his tender years, his knowledge of the 13-player code will go a long way towards advancing the rugby league crash course that some of his team mates are currently embarking upon.
“I think I can bring the (rugby league) experience that I have received to my new squad,” he enthused. “I have trained and played with some top, top players. I have learnt off them and hopefully I can bring that experience to the club, by helping some of our players in making the transfer from rugby union to league.”
Finally, the Halifax born full-back, who started the year at his home town team in the Championship, was keen to reveal in just one sentence what Cornwall supporters will see from him in a black and gold shirt.
He said: “They will see a lot of energy and I will always put in 110 per cent no matter what.