NextGen: Meet the goal-kicking jewel in Hull KR’s academy crown Rovers have tied down

Ross Heppenstall

Hull Kingston Rovers have been given a major boost with the news that one of the jewels in their Academy crown has signed a new long-term deal: Louis Gorman.

There are plenty of other high-profile graduates in the first-team squad in Zach Fishwick, Leo Tennison, Lennie Ellis, Harvey Moore, Connor Barley and Harvey Horne. But Gorman is one of the most promising that Rovers possess, underlined by his new contract.

Ellis, Gorman and Horne all began two-year first-team contracts with the Robins at the start of this season, having excelled for the Academy and Reserves in 2023.

That resulted in Ellis and Gorman debuting for Willie Peters’ senior side against Wigan Warriors last August – his only Super League appearance to date.

Gorman, a talented centre or full-back, is tipped for a successful Super League career and Love Rugby League spoke to Hull KR’s Head of Youth Jason Netherton about the teenager’s rich potential.


The 19-year-old was born in Hull and raised in Beverley, where he played for amateur club Beverley Braves ARLFC before being snapped up by Hull KR.

He joined the Robins’ Scholarship system and played for the Academy and Reserves before realising a boyhood dream when making his first-team bow at Wigan last August.

Netherton believes Gorman’s dedication has been key to his development, saying: “Louix’s an absolute consummate professional – I’ve never met a more professional player.

“But he didn’t come from a glamorous club in Beverley, so he’s hard to work and graft for everything he’s ever had. We use Louix as a bit of an example of what can be achieved through desire and dedication – he understands the professionalism that is needed to make the grade.

“He’s a big success story for us because when he was in the Scholarship, he probably wasn’t the best player. But he was the hardest trier and, when Louix got into the Academy, he started to flourish a bit more and his speed got him through.

“He’s constantly asking questions about where he can improve and he got his shot in Super League last year.

“What I really like is how the club are taking their time with Louix; he will play for the Reserves, go on dual-reg to Featherstone Rovers and when the time is right he will play first-team for us again.”

Style of play – Versatile

Noted for his speed, strength and dynamism, Gorman rose to prominence as a centre at Academy level.

But now he is in the first-team squad, Rovers view him more as a full-back, a position it is hoped he could potentially make his own in the coming years. “Full-back suits Louix because he’s very safe under the high ball,” explains Netherton.

“He understands the game and can read it very well, so he knows about numbers in defence and where to put himself in lines of attack.

“So he made the shift to full-back in pre-season and his pathway at Hull KR is rather congested in the centre position, whereas at full-back there is a bit of space for him.”

Gorman is also a prolific goal-kicker with Netherton adding: “He’s been practising since he was 16 and a good kicker is worth their weight in gold. Louix is kicking at 80-85%.”

Super League debut and going full-time

Gorman was awarded the 2023 young player of the season after an outstanding season in the Reserves. That was the signal for Rovers to promote him, Ellis and Horne into the first-team squad ahead of the 2024 campaign.

Netherton, who made more than 150 appearances during his playing career at Craven Park, has earned acclaim for his work in overseeing the talent coming through the Robins’ Academy.

“As a club, we could go and win a Super League title, but if we want sustained success then we have to be producing our own players,” he reasons.

“We’re starting to see the seeds of that now with obviously Mikey Lewis – who is probably the form half-back in Super League and an England international.

“We’ve also got Leon Tennison, a big front-rower who is on the brink of the first-team, and Louix, who I have no doubt will be a regular Super League player in the next two years.

“Lennie Ellis is also doing really well and had a fantastic pre-season, while Harvey Horne has had an injury for the past three months unfortunately but should be back soon.

“We’re starting to see those green shoots coming through here. Willie Peters likes Louix a lot and, with the succession plan we have at Hull KR, hopefully he can be a regular in the next couple of years.” 

Featherstone Rovers dual-reg experience

Gorman has enjoyed his time playing for James Ford’s part-time Championship outfit this season. The second tier is a challenging environment and playing regularly for Featherstone on dual-reg is aiding Gorman’s development.

“We’re managing Louix’s time, his performances and his loading – and obviously the end goal is for him to become a regular at Hull KR,” says Netherton.

“We’re trying to map out how that path looks for us and Louix. But he’s been playing most weeks for Featherstone and he will benefit a lot from playing with men against men in a tough league.

“He’s living the full-time lifestyle of being a professional athlete, training here at Hull KR, and playing first-team in a very competitive Championship.”

As one of the finest young talents in the British game, Gorman has represented Yorkshire Academy, Ireland Under-19s and then last year he was picked to play England Academy in France.

“Louix has experienced that elite level in his age group and he excelled,” says Netherton. “I spoke to Paul Anderson and the staff involved in the England and Yorkshire pathways – they were over the moon with Louix and couldn’t speak highly enough of him. It’s certainly looking good for the lad.”

Family link – “his brother is even better”

Gorman comes from a very supportive family with his parents Steve and Anne attending all his games. Younger brother Alex is also a talented player and is currently on Hull KR’s Scholarship.

“Alex plays Under-15s and is better than what Louix was at that age,” says Netherton. “In a few years’ time, you might see the two Gorman brothers in the same Hull KR team. That would be some story.” 

Player profile

Name: Louix Gorman
Date of birth: 25/04/2005
Position: Full-back/centre
Senior debut: Wigan Warriors (A), 04/08/2023
Honours: Yorkshire Academy, Ireland Under-19s and England Academy