Archie came to GRLA in September 2016 following recommendations from then Aberdeen Warriors Head Coach, Craig Parslow. He had only played a handful of games for the Warriors prior to coming to GRLA, having predominantly played rugby union. However, Archie had already broken into the Scottish RL U19s setup and was making an impression in the international arena. Archie had been described as a quick, tough player, very keen on tackling, who also possessed a degree of rugby intelligence; coming to Halifax was destined to raise the level of his game.
Archie signed up to play in the Pennine League with King Cross Park RLFC. However, due to his extensive involvement in the Scottish U19s & Scottish Students setup, he only made a handful for the KXP side. Nevertheless, he was seen as an impressive acquisition to the team by the KXP coaching staff, including Huddersfield Giants hooker – Adam O’Brien.
Archie also played for Halifax Elite Rugby Academy, where he also studied a BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sport, and was a regular in their first team squad. Archie’s game developed drastically whilst at Halifax ERA and he played a vital role in helping the side win the National College Premier Division and get to the final of the National Knockout Cup. The highlight for Archie was earning a 3 month trial with Leeds Rhinos U19s Academy based on his early performances with Halifax ERA; this was followed by a 2 week training opportunity with Wigan Warriors U19s Academy – the latter being quick to recognise that Archie had a definite degree of potential. And to give Archie the ‘icing on the cake’, he was selected for the Scottish Students RL University World Cup squad that travelled to Sydney, Australia, for the tournament there – a memory that will live with him forever!
Whilst with GRLA, and alongside his studies at Halifax ERA, Archie also gained his RFL Match Official qualification and RFL Level 1 Coaching qualification. Both were designed to give him a different perspective of rugby league. Collectively this has also allowed him to gain further qualifications for any future application for university, as well as improve his employability skills.
GRLA truly believe that Archie has a potentially big future in the game of rugby league. He has impressed a number of knowledgeable rugby league coaches/players whilst with GRLA, although the onus will be on Archie to strive to achieve this potential through sheer hard work. Having already represented Scotland at both U19s RL and Students level, he has a potential 2018 Commonwealth 9s (Queensland, Australia) place to work towards with the Scottish RL U23s – this should keep Archie focused for the future!
Archie, a man of many words, had the following to say about his time on the GRLA programme:
‘Joining GRLA obviously improved my rugby because we were out doing hill sprints or at the gym more often than most other players, improving our fitness and determination. The main highlight for me over the year with GRLA was definitely the 2 weeks at Wigan Warriors U19s; it was good to train in a completely unique, tough & physical environment. It’s been a sick (which means ‘awesome’!) experience living away from home and I feel it’s made me much more self sufficient and maybe a bit more mature.’
GRLA want to take this opportunity to thank Archie for his effort and determination, whilst wishing him all the best at proving his ability to be self-sufficient as he completes his Year 2 study with Halifax Elite Rugby Academy independently! Brilliant work Archie!