My Set of Six: With Love RL deputy editor Drew Darbyshire ft Nou Camp & Sean O’Loughlin

Drew Darbyshire

In our new feature, we’re asking you, the fans, plus players, coaches and other rugby league personalities to give us their answers to our set of six questions.

Love Rugby League editor James Gordon was first up, and now its deputy editor Drew Darbyshire’s turn.

Favourite away ground? 

The Totally Wicked Stadium, St Helens. Growing up a Wigan fan, there is nothing better than a derby between St Helens and Wigan. The derby matches are what got me hooked up on the sport as a youngster and there have been so many Good Friday matches that will stay long in the memory. I’m in the press box for Good Friday derbies now, but there was nothing better than being in the away at St Helens every year. The atmosphere is great in the ground, too.

Favourite player?

Sean O’Loughlin. He is one of the most underrated players in the Super League era and I still, to this day, don’t think he gets the recognition he deserves. He is one of few old fashioned loose forwards still playing, and his leadership qualities are incredible for both club and country. Some will say I’m biased, but I reckon he’s the best player never to play in the NRL.

Favourite memory?

My favourite memory was playing junior rugby growing up. I started playing when I was four for my local amateur club, Golborne Parkside, and played until I was around 16. One of my favourite memories of being a fan was the 2010 Grand Final, when Wigan beat St Helens. It was my first final I went to and I’ll always remember being at Old Trafford with my dad that day. In terms of my journalism career, covering the historic clash between Catalans and Wigan at the Nou Camp was a surreal experience.

Worst memory?

It’s always gutting watching your team losing a major final and the coach trip back is always draining – but you get over it. Ben Flower’s early sending off in the 2014 Grand Final was a bitter pill to swallow because we were close to winning the game with 12 men for 78 minutes.

Best match you’ve seen (not involving your club)?

It’s hard to think of one which stands above the rest but the first game that sprung to mind was the 2019 Challenge Cup final. Warrington were massive underdogs against huge favourites St Helens, but the Wolves pulled through and etched their name in to the history books.

Your one wish for the future of rugby league?

I want international rugby league to be taken seriously because thats the best way the game is going to grow. The neutral fan flicking through the sports channels are more likely to watch Ireland against Samoa rather than Leeds against Wakefield. I hope we can get a proper international schedule in the near future.

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