George King - Ireland
Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your rugby journey?
My name is George King, I am a professional rugby league player for Hull KR and play internationally for Ireland. I first played for Ireland in 2016 against Spain. To represent my country meant so much to me and my family.
I was born in Huddersfield and started playing rugby around the age of 5, kicking a ball around with my brothers and my dad. I have played for Newsome, Meltham and Siddal as a junior. In the professional game I first played with Huddersfield and then signed my first deal with Warrington Wolves under Tony smith. After a few years at Warrington, I moved to Wakefield Trinity and then to Hull KR, where I am enjoying playing for such a great club.
What did you try to show with the photos? Was there any wider meaning with any of the photos?
Some moments were special, others just show where I am at this moment in life. I wanted to show training during pre-season for Hull KR, as well as our 2022 training camp for Ireland at Hopwood Hall in Lancashire in preparation for the Rugby League World Cup. It was good to meet the boys after so long due to Covid.
I feel privileged to run out for Hull KR on a game day to the noise of the crowd. It is a great feeling lining up in the tunnel. The Hull KR players have a special bond as a team even when things are not going well. I also showed a few of the boys doing extra runs after training to get the fitness levels back up, as well as a photo of my teammates Phoenix Laulu-Togaga'e and Elliot Minchella.
Lastly, I showed a field in Meltham where I live called ‘The Rec’. This is where I played for Meltham with my mates – and I spent countless hours playing here with my dad and brothers.
What does rugby league and playing for your country mean to you?
Playing for my country means everything. I am so looking forward to putting on that green shirt and leading my team mates out on to the pitch at the World Cup. I will be captain at this World Cup and am looking forward to the challenge and leading by example.
We have a never-give-in attitude. We enjoy each other’s company and respect the badge and who we represent. I want to be the best I can be and win trophies, which is what it is all about!
What role does rugby league play in your community and country?
Rugby league in Hull is massive with two teams at the heart of city. As for Ireland, the sport it is growing every day, but slowly. Anything I can do to help it grow faster I will. That might involve going over to Ireland after playing rugby in England to help grow the sport.
What do you think the future looks like for rugby league after the RLWC?
I think the sport of rugby league definitely needs more international rugby league to thrive. A more structured international calendar working alongside the club game would also help players thrive.