Player Profile: Bryn Hargreaves

Bryn Hargreaves

Date of Birth: 14/11/1985
Position: Prop
Height: 6ft 0in
Weight: 16st 7.48lb
Bryn Hargreaves was born in Wigan.  He began playing rugby in the Wigan Academy in 2002.

He made his first team debut in 2004 when the Warriors brought him on from the bench in a 32-16 away victory over Salford.  It was a huge year for Hargreaves as not only had he made 3 appearances for his club, he was also offered a 2 year full-time contract with the Warriors.  Not to mention his call up for the Lancashire squad to play in the Academy Origin Series.  Or his England U18 call up to play in the Australian tour.  He didn’t go to Australia however, as he was asked to stay at home to help Wigan through their injury crisis.  The icing on the 2004 cake was his reception of the Under-21s Billie Joe Edwards and Craig Johnson Memorial Player of the Year trophy.

2005 was another injury-plagued year for Wigan but this was good news for 20 year old Bryn.  He featured in 14 Super League games that season and scored his try for the club against St Helens in a 40-18 away defeat.

2006 saw Bryn go out on loan to Leigh Centurions to gain experience but also to allow the signing of Stuart Fielden for Wigan.  He stayed with the Centurions for the rest of the season.  When his loan contract was up, so too was that 2 year deal he signed back in his successful 2004.  Of course Leigh Centurions expressed their interest in signing their 2006 loanee, so too did Harlequins RL and Salford City Reds.  Yet, Bryn was waiting for the right offer and one came in that even he didn’t expect – Super League Champions, World Club Challenge Champions and Challenge Cup Champions, St Helens, offered Hargreaves a 2 year deal that he would have been a fool to refuse.

His relationship with the Saints certainly helped him develop and 2007 put Bryn Hargreaves right back on track in first grade football.  He played 15 games for St Helens, most of which came from the bench but he did feature in the World Club Challenge Victory over Brisbane Broncos, which gives him a nice winners medal in his trophy cabinet.

He was also selected for the Wales World Cup Qualifier against Scotland.  His eligibility stems from his Welsh Grandfather.

It was 2008 when he established himself as a Super League force.  He scored his first try for St Helens against Bradford Bulls in round 17.  He scored two more in the game too, resulting in his first ever professional league hat-trick.  He scored again in the following game against Leeds.  St Helens won that game 26-12 but the Rhinos got their vengeance in the Grand Final, in which Bryn also featured.

By 2009 he was the first-choice starting Prop for St Helens.

Since signing for the Saints at the end of 2006, Bryn was a consistent Prop forward for them. He made more than 100 appearances, helping them to 4 Grand Finals in 4 years, two of which they won (2007 & 2008).

Midway through 2010, Hargreaves was speaking to Bradford Bulls acting coach Lee St Hilaire around, about making a move to the Bulls before 2011.  St Hilaire told Bryn about Bradford’s plans for the future, explaining that St Helen’s coach at the time, Mick Potter, would also be transferring to the Bulls come 2011.  This was extra encouragement for Bryn to make his Bradford move and he eventually signed a 2 year deal at the end of the season.

Player Profile: Brett Kearney

Brett Kearney

Date of Birth: 29/09/1983
Position: Stand Off
Height: 5ft 10in
Weight: 12st 12.77 lb

Brett Kearney was born in the Central Coast region of Sydney.  He joined the North Sydney Bears as a junior before moving south to play for the South Sydney Rabbitohs.  He made his NRL debut in a 26-16 defeat to the Sydney Roosters in 2004.  It was his only appearance for the Rabbitohs that season.

The following year saw Brett make 3 appearances with no tries on the board.  2006 however, was to be the season he was announced to the world of rugby league.  He made 20 appearances scoring 5 tries and 20 points.  Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks took great interest and signed the Stand Off at the end of the season.

The Sharks played him in just 8 games in 2007 but he still matched his 2006 record of 5 tries and 20 points.

He played for the Country Origin side in 2008 in a 22-22 draw with City Origin.  He went on to double his NRL tally in 2008, adding 10 tries and 40 points to the Sharks’ scoreboards. His contribution helped his team reach 3rd place, the first time the Sharks had finished in the top 3 for 9 years.

He was looking in the form of his life going into 2009 but in the opening game of the season against the Penrith Panthers, he sustained a serious ankle injury that ruled him out for the rest of the year.

When he recovered, Bradford Bulls signed Kearney on a 2 year deal to help them in their Super League campaign.  Brett’s “gap year” courtesy of his ankle in 2009, proved to have no effect on his form.  He scored 11 tries and 44 points for the Bulls in 2010 and was a favourite amongst the Bradford fans for his physical and mental pace.