Back in 2014, I interviewed Jermaine Coleman, who had then moved to London to coach Hemel Stags. He then went on to coach London Skolars and is now on the coaching team with London Broncos, as well as working as a teacher and Head of Year in a London secondary school.  His Heritage Number is 1583 and he received his Heritage Certificate when he came up with the Skolars team.  He, along with his brother Jy-Mel, who also played for Hunslet, is also part of the Jamaica coaching team. Jermaine’s stats are debut on 11 March 2001 against Rochdale. He played 36 times, scoring 2 goals ans 3 tries, before playing his last game for Hunslet on 9 June, 2002.  Jy-Mel’s stats are debut on 6 June 2021 against Rochdale. In his 9 appearances he kicked 19 goals and scored 4 tries, before his last Hunslet game on 19 Oct, 2021.  Jy-Mel’s Heritage Number is 1986.

Here is an extract from Jermaine’s interview in 2014.


I f you think that it’s just the forwards who get all the bad injuries, listen to this, “I’ve had a nightmare of a time over the last 6 years.  I’ve now had 6 Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries in the last 6 years, 4 on my left leg, two on my right. Both knees have had every ligament and cartilage replaced, fixed, remade.”  And Jermaine generally played at 6 and is contemplating playing for Hemel Stags where he coaches and where his brother now plays. I think his family might have something to say about that, as well as the school where he now teaches!

“While young, my dad was still playing amateur rugby but he had previously played for Hunslet too.”  Jermaine followed in his father’s rugby footsteps by playing for Milford Under 9s from the age of 6. “I remember going to my first training session and walking up the road next to the pitch. I was very nervous and watching everyone train as I was a little late. While walking up the road I walked into the lamppost – great start in front of lots of new faces.”  By 16yr he had signed for Halifax but wanted more 1st team rugby, which David Plange offered at Hunslet. “At 19 I moved to Hunslet and starting playing under David Plange, who has to this day had a huge influence on the way I see the game. My time at Hunslet was special due to the players that were at the club and the bond that we had: we were all young at the time just enjoying getting money for playing rugby with our mates. We not only trained and played rugby together, but we also socialised with each other every week.  I came into a team that was very young and enthusiastic and liked to burn the candle at both ends, players like Chris Ross, Nicky Dobson, Craig Ibbotson, Gareth Naylor, T Howcroft. So Dave had a battle on his hands to control the characters and get us playing the way he wanted us to. He allowed me to enjoy my rugby and use my enthusiasm and care free attitude to just play. He influenced me more so now in the way I think about the game rather than at the time, as I don’t think I really thought or processed the information then. It was more playing and fun. There were lots of fun times while I was at Hunslet. One memory always makes me laugh. David asked us one game to write on the board what contribution we wanted to make to the game and our team on this day. Everyone was writing not to miss tackles, take carries, etc, etc.  Then it’s Nicky Dobson’s turn.  He walked up and wrote “I will just score a try.” What was supposed to be a serious exercise turned into fits of laughter.  When questioned by Dave about his comment Nicky was adamant that he wouldn’t change it.”

Whilst at Hunslet in 2001-2, Jermaine played 36 times, scoring 2 goals and 3 tries, before he moved on to Gateshead then York, at the same time studying at university for a degree and playing for GB Students.  “At all the clubs my positions have been pretty much the same – lots of half and loose forward and some full back.” The chance to join a Graduate Teacher Programme in London couldn’t be missed and Jermaine moved down south to join London Skolars, becoming a community coach and a teacher.  He then moved to Hemel Stags as player/coach for their inaugural professional season.  “Each club has represented a different stage in my life so it’s probably too hard to pick a favourite however the family environment at Hunslet during my time there was excellent and is a place I made lots of friends for life.  When I look back on my time at Hunslet there are lots of fond memories, and lots of people who made my time there very special. I have made lifelong friends from my there and hope the people that watched me play also have the same positive view of me.”

Pat Benatmane