Royal Marines put young Wakefield Wildcats through their paces ahead of Featherstone opener

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Wakefield Wildcats’ stars of the future kick-off their campaign tonight at Featherstone Rovers.

Wakefield’s under-16 scholarship team, led by head coach Dave Winter and captained by Jordan Crowther, take on their near neighbours at the Big Fellas Stadium, kick-off 7pm.

The young Wildcats will certainly be well prepared for the big kick-off after spending a day in training with Royal Marine Aaron Johnson at Crofton.

Mne Johnson put the scholarship squad through their paces and also discussed the Royal Marines as a potential career path for any players not lucky enough to make it as a professional rugby league player.

“It was a good fitness session and I think the lads did really well and that’s all I can ask for really” said Mne Johnson.

“Hopefully they learned quite a bit and they can take the health and fitness is a big part of being a young sportsman.”

He added: “Brian McDermott is the Leeds Rhinos coach and he was a Royal Marine, so was Jordan James (who plays for Salford). There was a lad in the last Olympics that does Judo and there’s quite a few other lads that have gone on the Marines with a professional sporting background.

“For young lads these people are really good role models, especially people like McDermott who’s a local Wakefield lad.”

Wildcats utility player Will Hudson hopes the experience will be of benefit to him and his teammates going into tonight’s season opener.

“I enjoyed it but it was really challenging. It was quite beneficial both before when we had our meeting and out here working too,” he said.

“The variety of fitness techniques helps because we can incorporate what they do into our training.”

Wildcats U16s squad: Declan Brereton (Shaw Cross), Connor Clarke (Upton), Jared Copley (Westgate Wolves), Ben Cornell (Stanley Rangers), Jordan Crowther, (Westgate Wolves), Joe Greiff (Westgate Wolves), Thomas Griffiths (Shaw Cross), Matthew Hick (Westgate Wolves), Kieran Holt (Stanley Rangers), Will Hudson (Stanley Rangers), Max Jowitt (Stanley Rangers), Aiden Kay (Shaw Cross), Tom Megretton (Stanley Rangers), Alex Parker (Westgate Wolves), Luke Powell (Shaw Cross), Jamie Robinson (Westgate Wolves), Callum Sampson (Stanley Rangers), Maverick Stacey (Westgate Wolves), Nathan Stone (Milford), Harry Swan (Westgate Wolves).