Hunslet Rugby League club’s head coach Gary Thornton has wasted no time in bringing in more loan signings as the Parksiders’ spate of injuries continues.
Captain Duane Straugheir (back), hooker Vila Halafihi (wrist), stand-off Simon Brown (knee) and winger or fullback Kiedan Hartley (hamstring) have now been ruled out of the Cougars clash and, with something like seven regulars sidelined (and with halfback Jy-Mel Coleman on loan at London Skolars), Thornton has moved swiftly to sign three players ahead of Sunday’s BetFred League 1 fixture at Keighley Cougars.
One name is very familiar to Hunslet supporters. Halfback Dave Gibbons Jnr is the son of the former Hawks player of the same name, and he has been joined in the Parksiders’ squad by hooker Curtis Davies and centre Ben Tibbs. Loan men Wayne Reittie, George Senior and Anthony Bowman (all from Batley) are already at the South Leeds Stadium, although Bowman injured a wrist in training ahead of last Sunday’s defeat by Barrow. Another loan player, Jake Sweeting, is also injured and has returned to Featherstone Rovers, while prop Sion Jones missed the Barrow game through a rolled ankle.
Thornton said: “Dave has joined us from Warrington, where he is a member of their Super League squad. He’s an England Academy international, he trained with us last night and is a very confident lad.
“I think we’ve been lucky to be able to get him, and we’re also fortunate to have been able to draft in Curtis and Ben. Curtis, (23), a hooker, is joining us from Halifax and is a Welsh international. Ben (20) is a Yorkshire centre and is another Halifax man.”
Thornton, meanwhile, has received some positive news on the injury front. Fullback Jimmy Watson, who injured his knee in the friendly against Barrow, is making very good progress and could be fit for the home fixture with Rochdale on Sunday 6 June.