Sheffield Forgers are set to take their X-League involvement up a level this summer, with the launch of the Forgers X-iles.
The X-iles will join the club’s men’s open age and junior teams as the Forgers look to increase rugby league’s presence in Sheffield.
The Forgers X-iles’ player-coach will be Zack Wilson, currently an assistant coach for the club’s open age men’s team.
“One aim of the X-iles is to give those of us who can’t play open age rugby anymore, due to injury, age, time commitments or similar issues, a chance to pull on the purple and gold jersey and be a Forger,” he said.
“There really isn’t anything much better than getting together to play a bit of rugby league with your friends.
“Sadly, some of us had too many miles on the clock or too many head knocks to be able to play open age.
“Which means that X-League is perfect for us.
“We also want to bring former players or followers of the club into the fold with it, so that we can grow our community in Sheffield and give more people the chance to play a form of rugby league.”
The X-iles also welcomes rugby union players who want to learn more about the 13-a-side code.
“A rugby union player, Mark Gilmore, made his open age rugby league debut for Forgers recently against Rycroft Hammers, scoring a try,” Wilson explained.
“He came into the Forgers set-up via our winter X-League sessions, highlighting how X-League can teach some good rugby league fundamentals that players can take into the full contact version of the game.”
Forgers X-iles have some moderate aims for their first year of existence, targeting the Grand Prix at Warrington on June 10 as well as possibly playing some Merit League fixtures.
Wilson is very much a believer in taking small, achievable steps to embed the project and give it the chance to develop momentum.
“It’s easy to set big goals and end up looking silly,” Wilson added.
“We want to get the fundamentals in place this year so we can build on it in the years to come.
“X-League has a lot to offer rugby league, and it’s a concept that deserves respect. We want X-iles to be around for the long-term future, so it is important we don’t rush and get things right.”
Contact Sheffield Forgers via their social media channels below if you are interested in joining the Forgers X-iles! Anyone aged 16 or over is welcome, regardless of gender, ability or fitness levels.