Wakefield Trinity forward Danny Kirmond admits he may never have played in Super League without reserve-grade experience

Wakefield Trinity’s Danny Kirmond is one of the biggest advocates of the reserves system, as he admits he may never have made it in Super League without it.

By Ben McKenna
Friday, 17th January 2020, 6:00 am
Danny Kirmond.
Danny Kirmond.

The 34-year-old will coach Wakefield’s reserve side in 2020 following the re-introduction of the Reserves Championship.

Kirmond had a stint in the Huddersfield Giants second string in 2008 following his move from Featherstone Rovers.

It was in the Giants reserve-grade side that he learnt his trade as a second-rower, having predominantly played on the wing for Rovers.

Danny Kirmond.

“I am a prime example and a huge advocate of the reserves,” said Kirmond.

“When I went to Huddersfield from Featherstone, I spent six months in the reserves team. And, if not, I would probably never have played Super League.

“I might have ended up back at Featherstone or another club in the Championship.

“But reserve rugby gave me the chance to play as a second-rower, a new position for me.

“And it allowed me to develop as an athlete, going from a part-time to a full-time environment.

“It is really important for these kids who are coming to the end of academy to have an opportunity to play somewhere.”

Kirmond signed a one-year deal with Wakefield in September, agreeing to combine his playing duties with that of reserves coach and player performance manager.

The 34-year-old’s days have, as expected, become all the more hectic as he tries to juggle his new responsibilities.

He said: “It has been different, it has been busy. It’s a different challenge as well as the challenge of doing a pre-season at my age. With the coaching, I knew I always had a bit in myself, that side has come pretty easy.

“Doing the drills and explaining it is a lot different but I have got a great team around me.

“They have really helped me in that. We have been training 7am until 3pm with the first team and then coaching from 4pm to 6pm with reserves.

“The balance between them is alright, it is just about finding the balance with the social life and the family life, which is the difficult bit at the minute.

“But the club have been really good. Michael [Carter, Trinity chief executive] was really open and honest at the start of it and said that if the hours were ever too much, or if I needed some family time then I could take a bit of that as well.”

Kirmond’s deal with Wakefield wasn’t agreed until after the 2019 Super League season had concluded.

And even though he was determined to play on in 2020, there were only two clubs he wanted to play for.

He revealed: “I didn’t really want to play anywhere else and I made no secret of that.

“I think the only clubs I really had an interest of playing at was here and Featherstone.

"I wanted to finish my career at Wakefield and I am just grateful to have the opportunity to do that.”