HANDS up who remembers Aaron Heremaia’s Halifax debut?
No? Thought not.
That’s because the former Junior Kiwi, who arrived at the Shay four years ago via Leigh, never actually made one.
Heremaia signed for Fax, alongside his Hilton Park colleague and long-time friend, the late Dana Wilson, and was supposed to be the answer to the club’s half back problem.
He vanished a couple of weeks into pre season though, disappearing back to New Zealand with a ‘homesick’ wife and, apparently, ending his professional career.
He subsequently re-surfaced at the New Zealand Warriors last season, made a fleeting appearance for the Kiwis this year and on Sunday will play in the side that takes on Manly in the NRL Grand Final.
As routes to stardom go, it is a pretty unlikely one.
And while Heremaia didn’t exactly cover himself in glory during his brief tenure in West Yorkshire, it is good to see a player who was always immensely talented finally reaching his potential.
Heremaia will be back in England next year too, with Super League side Hull.
Presumably the black and whites will get rather more value for their money than Fax did.
TALKING of Dana Wilson, his death in a car crash a few weeks ago was a tragic waste of a young life.
On Sunday morning, some of his former teammates and friends will leave the Shay at 8.30am to cycle to the Co-operative Championship Grand Finals at Warrington, via Wilson’s other former clubs, Oldham, Leigh and Swinton.
All the money raised by the 67-mile jaunt will go to the foundation set up in Dana’s name.
It is a noble cause, and one worthy of backing, either by turning up at the Shay to support the event or by making a cash pledge via 0871 2312111.
AT the risk of cursing them, I would be very surprised if Featherstone Rovers did not finally get their hands on the Co-operative Championship Grand Final trophy this Sunday.
Having been mown down when they were in what seemed like a winning position against Halifax last year, Daryl Powell’s side certainly have some unfinished business to attend to at Warrington.
And while Sheffield - coached by Powell’s former Sheffield half back partner Mark Aston - have both the physicality and the track record in recent fixtures to suggest they could trouble Rovers, it is difficult to see them actually winning the thing.
Powell certainly deserves it, having done a tremendous job there over the last two years.
So tremendous, in fact, that it makes you wonder why he wasn’t in with a shout of getting the Super League jobs at places like Hull KR and Salford?
Oh, of course, he has the wrong kind of accent.