Rugby Union: Jared heads to Abbeydale as Wade boosts forward options

Rugby Union
Rugby Union

Sheffield RUFC have signed Rotherham Titans’ loose head prop Jared Parkinson ahead of their home clash against Cleckheaton this weekend.

The 19-year-old, who is described as a ‘hot prospect’ by the club, is highly thought of by Titans boss Lee Blackett and the Championship side have sent the former Tigers player out to Sheffield to gain valuable experience before he makes his second tier debut for the club.

Parkinson completed his first training session with Sheffield on Tuesday, and barring any problems with his paper work, he is expected to be in the starting team for the game against current table toppers Cleckheaton.

Ben Wade, the Sheffield director of rugby, has brought in the loose head to boost his forward line options as Sheffield go in search of their first league win of the season and arrest a run of the three straight defeats.

“Jared has come in and it is a chance for him to get some valuable playing time behind him,” Wade told the Telegraph.

“He will boost our forward options, and barring any problems with his registration or as long as he doesn’t pick up an injury, he will play on Saturday.”

After playing their first three games of the new season away from home, Saturday’s game is Sheffield’s first match of the new season at Abbeydale Park and it’s expected to be a tough one.

Cleckheaton, who finished third last season, come with an unblemished 100 per cent record so far and are perched at the top of the North 1 East division, whilst Sheffield are enduring different fortunes and will be looking to end a run of three straight defeats – the latest being a 38-11 reverse at Old Crossleyans.

Wade said: “Cleckheaton have recruited well and have a very mature squad who have been together for a while now.

“It is going to be a tough ask and if we can pull it together I am sure we can beat them. I have every faith in this squad.”

Wade added: “It is times like these that you have to dig deep. I am confident that we can get out of this run and we will do all we can to do it this weekend.”

Like Wade’s team, Sheffield Tigers will also looking to put an end to three straight defeats when they face Chester this weekend.

Dan Richmond, the Sheffield Tigers director of rugby, says that the game represents an opportunity for some of the players from the Stingers squad, who have impressed in the early weeks of the new union season, to “cement” themselves in the first XV.

Chester, who were promoted to the National 2 North last season as champions of National 3 north, have lived up to their pre-season claim of ‘let other national two north sides know we’re here to stay’ by winning all three of their opening games. The last time the two sides met Tigers narrowly beat Chester 16-14 in the National 3 North promotion play-off game in 2011 as Tigers secured promotion.

“This week will be a fantastic opportunity for some of the players from our Stingers XV,” Richmond said.

“They have been delivering outstanding performances, to now step up and bring those performances to the first XV.

“There’s some real competition for positions and I want players to start to cement their positions in the first XV. I expect the players demonstrate to me that they have the desire, responsibility and urgency to secure that place.”