Pocklington School

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McNamara scores on debut for Hull FC

OP Ben McNamara (16-20) made an excellent start to his career at top flight Rugby League club Hull FC, when he scored a try on his debut appearance for the first-team. Ben’s second-half try helped Hull FC secure a 32-28 victory against Castleford Tigers in the Betfred Super League encounter.

Graduating from Hull FC Academy, Ben signed a professional full-time contract with the Club after completing his A levels. He plays regularly for the Hull FC Reserves side and through his training with the first-team has been waiting for the opportunity to make his debut in the League.

The call-up to the team sheet as a substitute for the fixture on 1st October 2020, only came on the morning of the match, with Ben being brought on to the pitch after only 15 minutes of play due to injury of a team mate.

If there were any first match nerves Ben did not reveal them, as he accepted a swift pass from Jake Connor, to deftly place the ball between the posts to score a try in the second half of the game.  The delight on Ben’s face was clear to see, as he was congratulated by his team. To watch a replay of Ben’s try, click here.

The debutant’s great performance was not lost on Hull FC interim Head Coach Andy Last.  In a post match report for the Hull Daily Mail he said: “(Ben) held his own defensively and what he did do well was play it simple. From a half-back’s point of view sometimes they can chase a game and try and win it on their own but Ben understands the process of the game.” (Source)

In an interview for BBC Sport, Andy Last commented: “(Ben) has a real good attitude and wants to learn.  He’s a great young man with a level head on his shoulders.  We’ve a lot of confidence in him; we feel he has a good future with us.” (Source)

A week later, after impressing on his debut from the bench, Ben started in the halves for the first team against Challenge Cup finalists Leeds Rhinos where his ‘good pressure’ and ‘soft hands’ were reported to have contributed to the first two tries for Hull FC, leading to a 10-0 lead.  However, Leeds found their momentum just before the second half, which carried through to seal their victory - Hull FC 22-40 Leeds Rhinos.

Nevertheless, Ben has made a great start to his first-team career at Hull FC. He has been named in the England National Academy Performance Squad for 2020 and could feature in the end of season tour of New Zealand and Australia if selected , so it’s all to play for! (Source

Jonny Wheeler, Head of Athletic and Coaching Development and i/c Rugby at Pocklington School commented: "Ben was a pleasure to coach during his time at Pocklington. His commitment and professionalism were always clear to see and had such a positive impact on our rugby squads and also the strength and conditioning pathway Ben was a part of here. I am delighted to see him getting opportunities at Hull FC and I am sure Ben will continue to make the most of every opportunity he gets."

Photograph courtesy of Hull FC