Swinton Lions snap up son of ex-St Helens & Great Britain international half-back from Down Under

Ben Olawumi
Karle Hammond

Karle Hammond in action for St Helens in 1998 - Alamy

Swinton Lions have confirmed the permanent signing of Brad Hammond from Queensland Cup outfit Northern Pride, son of ex-St Helens & Great Britain international half-back Karle.

21-year-old Brad operates as a centre, and has been on trial with the Lions throughout pre-season, scoring a try in their victory against a youthful St Helens side last month.

The youngster has been Down Under for the last two years in the Queensland Cup, featuring for the Wynnum Manly Seagulls prior to Northern Pride.

Swinton confirmed his one-year deal earlier this week via their club website, with the centre saying: “I wanted to come over to the UK and look for an opportunity.

“I was offered a trial here at Swinton, and it’s been a great pre-season with the squad. I’m delighted to have signed now, with lots of footy to be played, with the cup games continuing and then of course looking forward to the start of the league campaign.”

Lions boss Alan Kilshaw meanwhile is delighted to have tied the young back down having handed him squad number 28 for the upcoming Championship campaign.

Kilshaw added: “We’ve been really impressed with Brad during pre-season. It’s great to see a player back themselves, take a chance, and bring themselves over from Australia looking for an opportunity.

“He’s worked incredibly hard during his trial period, fitting in easily with the group. I’m delighted to welcome him officially into the squad and we are all excited to see him on the field.”

Championship club Swinton Lions snap up son of ex-St Helens & Great Britain international half-back Karle Hammond from Down Under

The new Swinton recruit’s dad, Karle, featured 111 times for St Helens between 1995 and 1998, donning the Red V in both winter rugby and in the summer era.

Karle Hammond
Karle Hammond in action for St Helens against Wigan Warriors in the 1995/96 Regal Trophy Final – Alamy

Now 49, the former half-back lifted the Challenge Cup with Saints in 1996, starting in the final at Wembley against Bradford Bulls.

Widnes-born, Karle began his career with the Vikings and returned for a shorter stint in 2001, making 44 appearances in total over the course of those two stints.

A six-time Great Britain international, the ex-playmaker’s other clubs in the game were London Broncos, Salford – then City Reds – and Halifax – then Blue Sox.

When two appearances for Great Britain‘s under-21’s and three for Wales are thrown in, Hammond senior brought the curtain down on his career with a total of 239 appearances, scoring 110 tries in the process including 50 four-pointers for the Saints.

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