Player Profile: Ashley Gibson

Ashley Gibson was born in Leeds.  He began his career with Stanningley SARCL before Super League side, Leeds Rhinos signed the winger in 2005.

He made his debut for the Rhinos in round 23 of the 2005 SL season when he came on as a substitute.  He scored an astonishing hat-trick of tries in a game which saw Leeds defeat Leigh Centurions 74-0.  Even more astonishing, was that Gibson didn’t play again for Leeds in the Super league until round 10 of the following season.  The youngster missed out on the 2005 Grand Final between Leeds and Bradford.

In 2006 Gibson made nine starting appearances for the Rhinos and one more as a substitute.  He scored four tries in total in a season were Leeds slipped to 3rd place in the SL table.  He was in the England federation Shield Squad who won the trophy in Tonga that year.  Gibson played in all four matches.

2007 was marked with another impressive hat-trick for Gibson but his efforts were in vain as Leeds lost the game 22-20 against Hull KR.  He featured in 8 more SL games that season and failed to score in any of them.  Leeds defeated St Helens 33-6 in the Grand Final that year to take the championship but again, Gibson failed to feature in the final.

Due to a few injuries in 2008 including a hamstring injury which came in April that year, Gibson missed out on nearly all of Leeds’ super League games, including another Grand Final.  Leeds won the title back to back.  This time they defeated the Saints less convincingly, 24-16.   Gibson did manage to make two appearances, one of which he marked with a try in a 54-12 victory over Castleford.

2009 wasn’t much better for him as he made only 10 appearances for the Rhinos in the Super league, five of which came from the bench.  Leeds went on to beat St Helens in the Grand Final for the third year running – yet another final which Gibson made no appearance.

Struggling with injury and game time at Leeds, it was time for Gibson to make a change.  He got his opportunity when Salford City reds expressed an interest prior to the 2010 Super league season.  The move paid dividends for the Winger turned Centre as he made his Super League appearance record with the Reds with 27 games (only two as sub).  He scored 11 tries and although his new team only finished in 12th, it was arguably Gibson’s best year to that date as an individual.

Player Profile: Dave Halley

Dave Halley

Date of Birth: 12/10/1986
Position: Full Back
Height: 5ft 10in
Weight: 13st 3.18lb

Dave Halley was born in Bradford.  He was signed for the Bradford Academy and was soon demonstrating his tremendous pace in the junior Leagues.  In 2005 he captured 3rd place in the Fastest Man in Rugby Competition.  He broke through to Bradford’s first team in 2007 when he came on as a sub against Hull.  He scored a try with his first touch of the ball and the Bulls won the game 52-22.  He scored 2 more tries that season.

He also made his International debut for Wales in 2007.  He made a total of 3 Welsh appearances, scoring 2 tries against Papua New Guinea in October 2007.

In 2008 Halley played a total of 19 SL games for the Bulls.  He scored 4 tries.  The full-back had a steady season and contributed 4 tries against Toulouse in Bradford’s record 98-6 victory, in the Carnegie Challenge Cup.  He also got one more cap for Wales in 2008.

Bradford loaned Halley to Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in 2009.  He scored 4 tries in 5 games for the Wildcats in the SL.  At the end of the season he switched his International allegiance from Wales to England, in the hope of playing some part in the 2013 World Cup.

When he returned to Bradford in 2010 he established himself as a regular in the first team.  He scored 5 Super League tries for the Bulls in 22 appearances.  He was unfortunate to sustain a cruciate ligament injury during the Carnegie 9’s tournament in August 2010.

Player Profile: Chev Walker

Chev Walker

Date of Birth: 09/10/1982
Position: Centre
Height: 6ft 3in
Weight: 104kg

Chev Walker was born in Leeds and began his career with his local pro side, Leeds Rhinos, when they signed him as a youngster.  He made his debut against Halifax RLFC in 1999 at the age of 16.

He went on to make 14 Super League appearances the following season and scored his first try for the club against Warrington, in a 28-24 victory.  He went on to score two more tries in the same game and after that impressive hat-trick, he scored just one more try in the league, which came in a defeat to St Helens.  Leeds finished the season in 4th place.  He also played for England in the 2000 Rugby League World Cup, following his 18th birthday in 2000.

In 2001, Walker upped his season appearances to 27 in the Super League.  He scored 2 tries in the opening game of the season, coming from the bench against Harlequins and went on to score 9 in total for the league.  Leeds dropped to 5th that season.

He didn’t quite step up to the mark in 2002, he made fewer appearances (21) but did score more tries (eight) – a better try/game ratio than before at least.  His efforts helped Leeds return to fourth position in the Super League.

2003 was a mixed year for Walker, he was playing consistent football for the Rhinos, scoring 16 tries in 20 games but his progress was halted in July of that year.