Upton rugby ace gets Yorkshire call-up

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A TALENTED rugby league player from South Elmsall has been rewarded for his eye-catching performances at scrum-half by winning county recognition.

Harley Axe, 14, will represent Yorkshire this year after impressing the White Rose coaches at trials last month.

The Minsthorpe Community College pupil, who plays for Upton U14s, was invited to try out for the county thanks to his involvement with the Wakefield Service Area squad last year.

It’s the next step on the ladder to achieving his dream of playing scholarship rugby for a Super League club.

And he got a taste of Super League when he travelled to Leeds Rugby Academy, the training base of Leeds Rhinos, to take part in the county trials.

“Harley doesn’t really have any strong ties to one particular club but he does like Leeds Rhinos so it was great for him to get to train there,” said his dad Dean.

“He got his picture taken with Rob Burrows at the Upton presentation night and he’s a player who he looks up to.”

Axe had a nervous wait to find out if he’d done enough to be part of the Yorkshire U14s in 2012.

But he received the confirmation letter of his success this month and will train with one of two Yorkshire squads at Castleford Panthers ARLFC weekly.

Competitive matches will take place after every sixth training session, to be played against the other Yorkshire training base at Oulton - the first match is scheduled for Wednesday, May 9.

And Axe, who can play hooker or scrum-half and also plays cricket in the summer, will have one eye on impressing any Super League scouts keen to sign-up young players for scholarship schemes.

“It’s a year when scouts could approach Harley about being part of their scholarship,” said Dean.

“They’ll be at matches all over the district but I’m sure there’ll be extra emphasis on his games for Yorkshire.”

Clubs can’t officially approach young players until July 1 and Axe will be aiming to hit top gear this summer in a bid to impress the watching scouts.

He’ll still be playing for Upton, the team where he started his blossoming career at the age of eight.

“People at the club have been passing on their congratulations to Harley for gaining a place in the Yorkshire squad,” Dean added.

See this week’s Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express for all the latest sports news from around the area.