Young Rhinos duo joined Featherstone Rovers

Liam Whitton in the match Leeds Rhinos Vs St Helens U19s Semi Final at Totally Wicked Stadium, St Helens Photo Credit Craig Hawkhead

Featherstone Rovers have confirmed the signing Leeds Rhinos youngsters Loui McConnell and Liam Whitton on a permanent basis.

McConnell and Whitton were released by the Rhinos after it was announced that reserve grade Rugby League would not return in 2020 and have now made the switch across West Yorkshire.

The pair featured for and against Rovers during pre-season, they both played in our opening 2020 friendly against York City Knights and Whitton also scored twice against Featherstone in our final pre-season tie against Leeds Rhinos.

Head Coach James Webster will know the former Leeds duo well, as the Rovers’ boss coaches with Leeds Rhinos as part of our dual-registration agreement. McConnell is a 20-year-old loose forward, whilst Whitton, who turns 19-years-old next week, plays primarily at fullback.

Rovers’ Football Manager Steve Gill said: “We are really pleased to have brought these two exciting youngsters to the club, both players showed their quality when playing for and against us in pre-season.

“These are two youngsters who can certainly emulate the impact that Jimmy Beckett, Jack Render, and Jake Sweeting have had within the squad. Both are hungry to play at the highest level and will certainly add to our squad strength.”

The new recruits also commented on the move, McConnell said: “I’m delighted to have signed for Rovers and I’m looking forward to what the future holds and I’m excited for the challenge of testing myself in the Championship. I really enjoyed my time here at the start of the year in pre-season.”

Whitton added: “I’m so pleased to have signed for such a great club. I can’t wait to put on the Featherstone shirt and give my 100% for the club. Hopefully, I can be a part of a journey that takes Rovers up into the Super League.”

Leeds Rhinos Director of Rugby Kevin Sinfield commented, “I would like to wish Liam and Loui all the best for the future. Both lads have been integral members of our Academy teams since they joined the club and I am sure they benefit from that experience in the years ahead.”

Loui McConnell