Hull FC signing turned down Leeds

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HULL FC new boy Nick Rawsthorne has revealed how he almost joined Leeds Rhinos 12 months before signing for Lee Radford’s side.

The 21-year-old is one of four signings to arrive at the KCOM Stadium ahead of the 2017 season, having joined the club from Halifax.

However, it could have been so different had Rawsthorne not turned down the opportunity to play for his boyhood club a year earlier.

The utility back spent a number of months with the Rhinos’ Academy after being granted permission to train with them by rugby union side Yorkshire Carnegie, who had him on their books.

Rawsthorne impressed during his time with the club but turned down a contract because he didn’t want to put his parents under financial pressure.

“I joined Leeds Rhinos in March (of 2015) and I did really well,” he said.

“I loved it and it was the club I had grown up supporting. I was in negotiations with the Rhinos in June that year, but it was a big pay cut from what I was getting, and because I was travelling from Halifax I couldn’t afford it, so I had to leave.

“The club asked if my parents could help, but I was 19 and I couldn’t just ask my parents to lend me money so I could play rugby and not be guaranteed anything.”
Instead, Rawsthorne returned to rugby union with amateur side Huddersfield but decided to pursue a career in the 13-man code after seeing schoolmate Chester Butler impress at Halifax.

The duo were part of a Brooksbank side that won three national titles and also included Huddersfield Giants hooker Kruise Leeming.

“I saw how well Chester was doing at Halifax and told them I wanted to play, so they took me back on.

“Hull’s my club now and the team I want to achieve with. I’ve always admired the fans and the Academy systems here and I don’t think I could have picked a better club.

“I knew I’d sign for a Super League club and be a professional player, that’s the mentality and confidence I have within myself.

“I like to think I can offer something other people can’t because of my ability to get past players. I know what I’m capable of and now I just need a shot to show what I can do.”