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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Jamie Rooney: I want to take Whitehaven to the Championship

Whitehaven's new scrum-half Jamie Rooney wants to repay the club for giving him a chance to rebuild his professional career.

Jamie Rooney photo
Jamie Rooney

Rooney was released by South Wales Scorpions by mutual agreement after playing only a handful of games, and his career looked to be on a downward spiral.

“To be honest things haven’t been going well for me over the last two seasons and that was all down to off-field problems. I split with my partner of ten years. It was a particularly bad time for me,” said Rooney.

“It was affecting my form and, when I signed for South Wales, the time I spent travelling was also getting to me. It wasn’t easy giving it 100 per cent so it was the right thing to do to move on.

“Whitehaven came in with an offer and I’m grateful to them. I’ve always maintained my fitness levels so there will be no problem there. I just hope I can give something back and help them make the top four to qualify for the Championship.

“I played with Andreas Bauer for at Barrow but I know a lot of the Whitehaven lads through playing against them.

“I’ve had a good chat with the Whitehaven coach and I’m really looking forward to playing for them. The Championship is where he wants them to be playing and that’s where I want to be as well.”

Rooney will be meeting his new team-mates at tonight’s training session.

Based in Featherstone, he will travel up for training twice a week and will stay over after a Friday night session ahead of the Sunday games.

It was Featherstone who gave him his pro debut in 1999 – and it was against Whitehaven at the Recreation Ground when he came off the bench and kicked a goal.

Rooney went on to break Rovers’ records, including most points in a season, and the points continued to flow when he moved into Super League with Wakefield, when he also won his England caps.

But it’s been a gradual slide down the ranks, with the last two years particularly disappointing for Rooney, and now he hopes that he can turn the clock back at the Recreation Ground.

“It would be great to play again in the Championship but there is serious competition for the top four places to qualify and I want to help put Whitehaven up there,” he said.

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