|Full name||Christopher Melling|
21 September 1984 |
Ashton-in-Makerfield, Greater Manchester, England
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight||14 st 7 lb (92 kg) |
|Position||Fullback, Wing, Loose forward|
As of 15 February 2012
Christopher Melling (born 21 September 1984) is an English former rugby league player who played for London Broncos in the European Super League. His position of choice was as a fullback. He was a Great Britain international.
Melling attended Byrchall High School and played junior rugby league for the Ashton and Hindley junior clubs. Melling is a youth level international for England, touring Australia and New Zealand with England Under 16s in 2001 and also representing England's U18 Academy.
Melling is a former Wigan Senior Academy captain who made several appearance for the Wigan first team.
In 2004's Super League IX it had seemed that Melling's career was in doubt following a serious knee injury suffered playing for Wigan against Leeds at Headingley. Melling had been seen as a future star before having his season ended by a cruciate ligament injury.
Melling returned to full fitness in 2006, but found first team opportunities limited, due to the emergence of Chris Ashton at the club. Chris Melling moved into the Hooker role in Wigan's academy, impressing enough to be voted as the U'21 Academy 'Player of the Year' for 2006.
He left Wigan to pursue regular first team football.
Melling was initially signed as a back-up hooker to Chad Randall, however the Great Britain international has made Fullback position his own. He has been compared to Wade McKinnon with the youngster being defensively solid and dependable, with an eye for a gap bringing the ball out in attack. His move to Harlequins was to have seen the youngster undergo a positional change with a move to hooker. He had been previously employed throughout the backline, with most of his first team appearances coming as an outside back.
Melling impressed in 2007, starting games at full-back and throughout the backline and scoring four tries. In May 2007 Melling agreed to a new two-year deal with Harlequins Rugby League, midway through his first season at the Twickenham Stoop. This will keep Melling in the capital until 2009. He is seen as the emerging star at the Harlequins, with Harlequins RL investing in young British talent.
In June 2007 Melling was called up to the Great Britain squad and was Fullback in the Test match against France. He was joined in the Great Britain Test side by Harlequins teammate Paul Sykes. Melling made his Great Britain début in the 42-14 victory over the French on 22 June 2007, despite carrying an injury.
Away from football
Melling is a qualified Physiotherapist after studying at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, graduating in June 2006. Melling hopes to set up his own physiotherapy practise in the future.
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- Rugby League Project
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- Lester, Joanna: "Joanna Lester chats to full back and budding physiotherapist Chris Melling", game on!, Harlequins RL v Wakefield, p41, 14 April 2007
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