AT the tender age of 23, Gregg McNally finds himself as one of the longest serving players at Leigh in 2014.
The Whitehaven born full-back is in his third season at the Sports Village and on Sunday he will line up against his hometown club.
“Who have we got again on Sunday?,” replied McNally – with his tongue firmly in his cheek – when asked if he was looking forward to the weekend’s game.
And though he might want you to think otherwise, games against the team he still supports are a very big deal for McNally and his family.
“I get texts from the Whitehaven lads asking what the team is going to be” he said.
“There are still a lot of players there from when I was a player so of course you get the banter in the build-up to the game. You certainly don’t want to lose against them.
“I’m still a Whitehaven fan and always look for their scores straight after a game. The rivalry with Workington is something we all enjoy.”
McNally scored a hat-trick of tries on his Whitehaven debut against Salford as a 17-year-old and his exploits attracted the attentions of Super League Huddersfield in 2008. After struggling to hold down a first team place he was loaned back to Whitehaven but joined Leigh ahead of the 2012 season.
Despite making his name as a scrum-half he has played almost all his Leigh career at full-back, filling the role vacated by Stuart Donlan.
He is now one of the first names on Paul Rowley’s team sheet and has started the new season strongly with a try in wins over Batley and Barrow.
“It’s not just about the points we’re scoring,” said McNally. “At Barrow we only conceded eight points and against Batley we let in 12. It is important that as well as scoring tries we are a team which others struggle to break down.
“Our attacking football this year has been brilliant. It feels like we can score from anywhere.
“All the players who have come in to the squad offer us something different but they have strengthened the squad. It’s the pack which is doing the hard work to set the platform for the likes of Adam Higson and Alex Brown to show their pace. And of course Ryan Brierley has started the season in great form with eight tries in two games.”