Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Home's Better for Neighbour; Star Thrilled to Be Back after Spell in Australia SCRUM DOWN

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Home's Better for Neighbour; Star Thrilled to Be Back after Spell in Australia SCRUM DOWN

Article excerpt

Byline: RICHARD NEALE

IT takes a lot to persuade someone to swap the warm climes of Australia for the cold winds of the North East, but the vision of Gateshead Thunder duo Dave Woods and Chris Hood managed to do just that with Kevin Neighbour.

The 25-year-old from Wallsend, who made his Thunder debut in 2001, spent last season with Shellharbour Marlins in Australia, but was so impressed with the Thunder revolution he packed his bags and returned home to help his hometown club develop into a force to be reckoned with.

After a superb start to the season which has seen Thunder reach the play-off stages of the Northern Rail Cup for the first time in their history, Neighbour is looking to bring that success to National Two - starting with a trip to York City Knights on Friday afternoon.

"I had an offer to stay in Australia but I spoke to Chris and he told me about the plans for this year," said the second most-capped player in Thunder's history. "I was impressed with what he said they were trying to get in place, both on and off the field.

"I was able to read up on some of the players they said they were tying to get in and I was impressed to hear who they were going for. So I came back over and it has definitely lived up to my expectations - I'm loving it." Neighbour was around the club during its Super League heyday and was disappointed as to see what happened as it sunk to the brink of oblivion. But he believes the future is bright at a club which has just begun the job of re-inventing itself.

"I was around the club in the Academy and it was great to see players like Sean Long and Jason Robinson coming to play against us and what happened was very unfortunate," said a player who became addicted to rugby league when he was just eight years old.

"We got a taste of it and quite a lot of people from round here started getting into it. It was exciting to be a part of it and be working with the likes of Shaun McRae but then we were suddenly back to square one and didn't even know if the club would be playing again - at any level.

"But I'm impressed with what things are like at the moment because I didn't know what it was going to be like at all. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.