Sport Awards: World Cup honour for rugby league player

USW rugby league player Jarad Hinnem, who was named Sportsman of the Year at the University’s Sport Recognition awards. Neil Gibson, May 2017

USW rugby league player Jarad Hinnem, who was named Sportsman of the Year at the USW’s Sport Recognition awards.

A rugby league player from Cwmbran will travel to Australia this summer to play in the Student World Cup.

Jarad Hinnem, 31, from Cwmbran, in his second year of a BSc Pharmaceutical Sciences degree at the University of South Wales.

He was named Sportsman of the Year at the USW Sport Recognition awards, after mentoring his teammates – some of whom had never played rugby league before – to victory following a string of tough defeats.

Jarad is also the top try scorer for the University team, having clocked up 21 tries in just 12 games, and is now a member of the Wales squad for this year’s student rugby league World Cup. He will fly out to Oz with the 24-strong team at the end of June, and hopes to receive his first Welsh cap during the tournament.

Jarad, who also plays for the Torfaen Tigers, said he wasn’t initially interested in joining the University of South Wales rugby league side.

He said: “My friend Rob coaches the University team, and asked me to play, but as I run my own personal training business outside of uni, I didn’t think I could spare the time for anything else.

“He eventually wore me down though, and I took on a mentoring role for some of the boys who were completely new to the sport. We lost our first five games and took a bit of a beating, but as time went on we started to improve. It’s been really rewarding to see how the team has turned its fortunes around.”

Jarad was named Male Sportsperson of the Year at the annual awards ceremony, held at the Principality Stadium earlier this month.

He added: “I was quite overwhelmed to win the award, especially as the team hasn’t been established for very long. But even though the award was presented to me, it’s the success of the whole team that has got me here, and I’ll be thinking of them when I play at the student world cup.”

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