​Nomads give a boost to Rugby League in Rotherham

​​RUGBY league is undergoing a revival in Rotherham thanks to a popular version of the sport that could even spurn an open-age team.
Rotherham Nomads ready for the new season.Rotherham Nomads ready for the new season.
Rotherham Nomads ready for the new season.

The town hasn’t had a rugby league team since Rotherham Giants folded 12 years ago.

But a new group called Rotherham Nomads is taking part in X-League, a friendly, action-packed, limited contact variation that is part of RL’s social offer.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Two former players from Rotherham Rangers and Giants, Chris Clayton and Nick Colley, both participate and numbers have surged ahead of the new season which starts with the first Grand Prix of 2024 on April 20 at the home of Warrington Titans.

Rotherham Nomads at training session for X-League.Rotherham Nomads at training session for X-League.
Rotherham Nomads at training session for X-League.

Team manager Chris said: “We had ten on first day. Now we’ve got 35 registered with us and 16 who turn up regularly on a Monday night out of a pool of about 25.

“We are now attracting younger players. Some have played rugby league, some haven’t, but it is looking more and more like there is the potential for open age rugby league in Rotherham in no time at all and that would be absolutely amazing.

“That wasn’t what we were aiming for. We were aiming for this X-League variant.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

X-League has a strong emphasis on men’s mental well being, but isn’t restricted to it.

“Everyone has joined for various reasons, whether it be due to long-term injuries, to help battle anxiety or depression or preventing the feeling of loneliness,” said Chris. “Most importantly, we’re giving this group of players a sense of purpose and that feeling of being part of a group again.”

They included a Nomad player who lost a close friend in 2022. “I lost all enthusiasm to play sport and train,” he said. “I slipped into a bit of depression but thanks to friends and an introduction to X-League I'm back to feeling my best and I’m ready for a new challenge this year.”

Added Chris: “I’m glad we’re calling ourselves Nomads because like the Giants, the Roosters and the Rangers before, we haven’t got a ground.

“My idea was let’s not have a ground. Let’s flit around like the Barbarians and work on this Nomad theme.”

For more information call Chris Clayton on 07703 463942 or email [email protected]

Related topics: