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RUGBY UNION: Griffins target family treble
10:31am Wednesday 15th February 2012 in Rugby
Former Oxford Cavaliers star Darrell Griffin hopes to have two brothers playing alongside him in Super League this season, writes Ed Mezzetti.
The 30-year-old Leeds Rhinos prop, who hails from Witney, is an England international and a seasoned player in rugby league’s top flight.
But younger brothers Josh, 21, and 19-year-old George are looking to impress with Castleford Tigers and Hull KR respectively.
When Darrell signed for Wakefield in 2003, his family moved to Yorkshire with him from Witney.
Now the siblings could join Andrew, Ian and Kevin Henderson, who were the last set of three brothers to play in Super League at the same time.
“We owned a pub down south, but sold it and came up when Darrell moved north,” said Josh, a centre who played alongside Darrell at both Wakefield and Huddersfield.
George followed his brothers to Wakefield and, after playing for the academy, last year tried his luck in Australia for Queanbeyan Kangaroos, the feeder side for NRL club Canberra Raiders.
A back-row forward, he was due to sign for Crusaders before their withdrawal from Super League, but is now hoping to make his name with Hull KR.
“It would be fantastic if we could all get a crack,” said Darrell.
“It’s mainly down to George, he’s got to pull his finger out and get himself into the Hull KR side. It would be a great thing for the family.
“I was George’s first coach,” he said. “He’s a great player and probably one of the most dedicated lads for his age I’ve ever seen.
“A lot of lads his age are going out enjoying themselves, but George works really hard.
“It’s hard for him because he’s got two brothers, so it’s probably his motivation and his inspiration that he wants to be there as well.
“He had a great time time in Australia. He’s a great athlete and he’s in great shape.”
Josh and George are late starters in rugby league, having taken up the game at the age of 16, but Darrell expects them to do the family proud.
“Their time will come now,” he said. “I’m sort of coming towards the back end of my career, but hopefully they can carry on the family name by playing in Super League.”
Josh, who lives with George, admits that Darrell has been a major influence in his career.
“I played with Darrell for three years at Huddersfield, so was close to him, but I grew up with my little brother after Darrell moved away when we were young,” he added.
“We both started playing rugby union when we first moved up because a lot of our friends from school played it and we didn’t start rugby league until we were 16.”