On January 3rd GRLA’s Archie Andrade, of the Aberdeen Warriors RL club, began a 12 week trial with Leeds Rhinos U19 Academy. This was a trial experience thoroughly earned through his continued efforts with the Halifax Elite Rugby Academy (HERA) side in the National College League in which he caught the eye with a number of consistent performances. Since the beginning of January Archie has gone on to make 2 match winning appearances for the Leeds Rhinos U19 side – a preseason fixture against City of Hull (in which he scored the match winning try) and the opening league fixture against St Helens (a side who dominated the competition in 2016). Just as impressive is Archie’s selection for the Scotland Students University World Cup squad; an open-age team open to players who are currently in education systems. He will travel to Sydney, Australia, this summer as the youngest member of the squad having graduated from the Scotland U19 RL setup through a rigorous trial process that began in October 2016. Again, it is Archie’s development through playing regularly with HERA and also King Cross Park RLFC (in the Pennine League) that has provided him with the relevant rugby league tool kit to achieve such feats! GRLA caught up with Archie to gauge his thoughts on everything Leeds Rhinos and Scotland RL:
GRLA: How’s the Rhinos training been going and what’s been your favourite part about it?
AA: Training with Leeds Rhinos U19s Academy has been an amazing experience, it’s great to train basically full time and in such a professional and formal environment. The best part was beating St. Helens who went undefeated last season.
GRLA: What do you hope to get from the Rhinos trial?
AA: Obviously a contract would be the dream but I’m appreciating the experience more than anything.
GRLA: What’s it been like to wear the Amber & Blue of Leeds Rhinos?
AA: It’s been amazing, the games are extremely physical but I still managed to score a try on debut!
GRLA: What was the process like for selection to the Scottish Students side?
AA: We did a number of different selection days in Preston and Edinburgh. It felt like a very thorough selection process and required a lot of physicality to earn a place in the squad.
GRLA: Do you feel coming on to GRLA helped you get into the Scottish Students squad?
AA: Yeah definitely! Obviously the extra sessions with GRLA have improved my general fitness etc which has in turn probably improved my performance in the game and the trials. But also the fact that I wouldn’t ever have come down to Halifax to play rugby full time if it wasn’t for GRLA’s connection with Aberdeen Warriors RL.
GRLA: What are you most looking forward too about the Student World Cup?
AA: Playing against Australia and Definetly meeting some Aussie birds!
GRLA: Finally, from when you started to now do you feel the GRLA programme has benefited you?
AA: Without a doubt, like I mentioned before if it wasn’t for the GRLA programme I would still be in Scotland and probably not even playing rugby league anymore