Hunslet Hawks

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For the original club founded in 1883 and dissolved in 1973, see Hunslet F.C. (rugby league).
Hunslet Hawks
Hunslet hawks.png
Club information
Full name Hunslet Hawks Rugby League Football Club
Nickname(s) Parksiders
Colours Hunsletcolours.svg
Founded 1973
Current details
Coach(s) Matt Bramald
Competition League 1

Hunslet Hawks is a professional rugby league club in Hunslet, West Yorkshire, England, which plays in Championship One. Founded in 1973 as New Hunslet, a replacement for the original Hunslet F.C., they became Hunslet in 1979 before adopting their current name in 1995. The 1987–88 Rugby Football League season was their last at the top level.


1973-1996: New club[edit]

In July 1973, the original Hunslet club was wound up because no suitable new location could be found that was financially viable. The £300,000 proceeds of the sale of Parkside were distributed to shareholders.

Due to the efforts of their former Great Britain forward Geoff Gunney (MBE), local businessmen and supporters the club managed to reform as New Hunslet for the 1973–74 season and moved to the Leeds Greyhound Stadium and erected iron American football posts. The resurrected club had a new badge depicting a phoenix. In 1974, New Hunslet adopted green and white as team colours because the traditional myrtle, white and flame colours were still registered to the former Parkside-based club, and they would not release them. The stay at the greyhound stadium was cut short when the owners closed the ground and arranged to demolish everything on the site.

In 1978, coach Bill Ramsey put a lot of pressure on the RFL and finally got permission to use the traditional colours. The club reverted to Hunslet for the 1979–80 season. With the closure of the Greyhound stadium, the next ground to host Hunslet was Mount Pleasant, Batley, for two seasons, before Hunslet moved to Leeds United's Elland Road football stadium then owned by Leeds City Council. After leaving Elland Road, Hunslet had a brief spell at Bramley.

On 19 November 1995, the club, now known as Hunslet Hawks, moved to the South Leeds Stadium, only about half a mile from Parkside. On that day, Leigh were the guests at Hunslet's first home game for twenty-two years. They then narrowly missed out on promotion from Division Two in 1996. Coach Steve Ferres left to join Huddersfield and David Plange took over as player-coach.

1996-2009: Summer era[edit]

In 1997 the Hawks appeared at Wembley Stadium for the first time since 1965 in the first (and last) Challenge Cup Plate Final but were beaten by Hull Kingston Rovers, 60–14. Also in that year, the Hawks were promoted to the First Division as champions.

In 1999 as a possible merger between Hunslet and Bramley was debated.[1] In 1999 Hunslet won the Northern Ford Premiership Grand Final against Dewsbury, 12–11, at Headingley. After that game the Hawks were denied entry to Super League by the Rugby Football League who cited a document called Framing the Future as justification. This caused a number of players to leave the club and for the average attendance to fall by more than 1,200 to 800. A link-up with Leeds Rhinos saw Plange go to Headingley as Academy coach.

Paul March was the player/coach at Hunslet, joining midway through the 2009 season following the resignation of Graeme Hallas. March guided Hunslet to a 6th-place finish and a play-off spot in Championship 1. Hunslet travelled to Blackpool in the first week of the play-offs winning, 18–21, to set up an elimination semi-final against Oldham in which Hunslet were comfortably beaten, 54–30.

2010-present: Promotions and silverwear[edit]

In 2010 Paul March led Hunslet to their first silverware for over 11 years by securing the Co-operative Championship 1 title, and subsequent survival in 2011.

In 2012, Barry Eaton took over as coach. In 2014 Hunslet won the Grand Final after extra time against Oldham, thus gaining promotion to the Championship.


1973-1980: Leeds Greyhound Stadium[edit]

The new Hunslet clubs first ground was the Leeds Greyhound Stadium on Elland Road in Beeston after they were told they could not play at Parkside. American football posts were erected to be used as goal posts.

1980-1982: Mount Pleasant[edit]

In 1980, the greyhound stadium closed and Hunslet were left homeless. There only option was to move out of Leeds and ground share with Batley for two seasons while they searched for a permanent home in Leeds.

1983-1995: Elland Road[edit]

Main article: Elland Road

In 1983, after leaving Batley, Hunslet negotiated a deal with Leeds City Council to play at Leeds United's Elland Road, which the council owned at the time. This was their permanent home ground until they had the opportunity to return to play in Hunslet for the first time since the original Hunslet club had been dissolved.

1995-present: South Leeds Stadium[edit]

Main article: South Leeds Stadium
The grandstand at the South Leeds Stadium

Hunslet moved into the South Leeds Stadium after it was built in 1995. The stadium is used too host athletics and also has a swimming pool and other facilities the club can use. The stadium has one main stand that accommodates the grounds 5,000 capacity.

Past coaches[edit]

2016 squad[edit]

* Announced on 18 February 2016:

2016 Squad Numbers

No Player Position Former club
1 Jimmy Watson Full Back Leeds Rhinos
2 Mo Agoro Wing Oldham Roughyeds
3 Jake Normington Centre East Leeds
4 Ayden Faal Centre Batley Bulldogs
5 James Duckworth Wing Leeds Rhinos
6 Simon Brown (VC) Stand Off Doncaster RLFC
7 Danny Ansell Half Back Wakefield Wildcats
8 Michael Haley Prop Featherstone Rovers
9 Jack Lee (C) Hooker York City Knights
10 Lewis Reed Prop Keighley Cougars
11 Brooke Broughton Second Row York City Knights
12 Ben Crane Utility Forward Hull Dockers
13 Liam Mackay Loose Forward Featherstone Rovers
14 George Flanagan Hooker Featherstone Rovers
15 Mufaro Mvududu Centre, Second Row London Skolars
16 Matthew Tebb Hooker Dewsbury Rams
17 Marcus Elliott Utility Back Dewsbury Rams
18 Aston Wilson Centre Unattached
19 Matt Carbutt Prop, Back Row Doncaster RLFC
20 Danny Thomas Half Back Oxford RLFC
21 Nathan Darby Prop Featherstone Rovers
22 Craig Robinson Prop Doncaster RLFC
23 Chris Buttery Utility Forward Unattached
24 Jack Pickles Prop, Back Row York City Knights
25 Jay Leary Prop, Back Row York City Knights
26 Austin Bell Prop, Back Row York City Knights
27 Lee Waterman Utility Back Doncaster RLFC
28 Ritchie Barnett Wing Keighley Cougars
29 Daniel Williams Second Row Stainland Stags
30 Jamie Milburn Prop Oxford RLFC
31 Lee Mapals Wing Gloucestershire All Golds
32 Zach Johnson Prop Dewsbury Rams - On Loan
HC Matt Bramald Head Coach
AC Mark Cass Assistant Coach

2016 transfers[edit]


Player Club Contract length Date
England Austin Bell York City Knights 1 Year October 2015
England Ayden Faal Batley Bulldogs 1 Year October 2015
England Matt Carbutt Doncaster RLFC 2 Years October 2015
England Jack Pickles York City Knights 1 Year October 2015
England Jay Leary York City Knights 1 Year October 2015
England Jake Normington East Leeds 1 Year October 2015
England Danny Thomas Oxford RLFC 1 Year October 2015
England Lee Waterman Doncaster RLFC 1 Year October 2015
England James Duckworth Leeds Rhinos 1 Year October 2015
England Ben Crane Hull Dockers 1 Year October 2015
England Craig Robinson Doncaster RLFC 1 Year November 2015
England Chris Buttery Unattached 1 Year November 2015
England Daniel Williams Stainland Stags 1 Year February 2016
England Jamie Milburn Oxford RLFC 1 Year February 2016


Player Club Contract length Date
England Danny Grimshaw Oldham Roughyeds 1 Year September 2015
England Mark Castle Doncaster RLFC 1 Year September 2015
England Charlie Martin Keighley Cougars 1 Year October 2015
England Danny Maun Retirement N/A October 2015
England James Houston Retirement N/A October 2015
England Vinny Finigan Keighley Cougars 1 Year October 2015
England Aaron Lyons Gloucestershire All Golds 1 Year October 2015
England Andy Kain Dewsbury Rams 1 Year November 2015
England Matthew Cook Doncaster RLFC 1 Year December 2015
England Brad Brennan Released
England Callum Casey Released
England Ryan Backhouse Status Unknown

Players earning international caps while at Hunslet Hawks[edit]

  • Frank Davies won a cap for Wales while at Hunslet in 1978 against England
  • Robert 'Iain' Higgins won caps for Scotland while at London Broncos, and Hunslet 1997…2001 1-cap + 1-cap (sub)
  • Charlie Wabo won caps for Papua New Guinea while at Hunslet
  • Michael Mark won caps for Papua New Guinea while at Hunslet
  • Neil Lowe won caps for Scotland while at Hunslet
  • Lee Hanlan won caps for Ireland while at Hunslet

Other notable players[edit]

These players have either; won Challenge Cup, Rugby Football League Championship, Yorkshire Cup, Yorkshire League, have received a Testimonial match, were international representatives before, or after, their time at Hunslet, or are notable outside of rugby league.



External links[edit]