Rochdale News | Sports News | Hornets bring in England youth international Owen Blackwood

Date published: November 10, 2022

Away, Owen Blackwood has joined Rochdale Hornets for the upcoming 2023 campaign.

Blackwood, who can play on the wing or in the centre, came through the prestigious St Helens academy and is now looking forward to making the move to professional play.

He said: “When the opportunity came it was one that really got me excited and I can’t wait for the challenge of playing Ligue 1 rugby.

“It’s a talented team, which is being put together, so I hope next season will be unforgettable.”

Having started rugby life at Halton Hornets, like new teammate Joe Purcell, Blackwood then moved on to Blackbrook Royals before being picked up by the ten-time Super League champions.

During his time at Saints, the 19-year-old’s impressive performances saw him represent England at youth level and this form would help him win his first professional contract in 2019.

As a result, Hornets head coach Gary Thornton is confident Blackwood has all the credentials to have a successful first season at senior level.

“Owen had a very good junior career at St Helens, representing his country at youth level has been a huge honor for him so he comes with a lot of promise and potential.

“He is leaving academy and reserve team football, so it will be a steep learning curve for the youngster coming into Ligue 1 and dealing with physicality and intensity at that level.

“However, he has the ability and the right mentality to make a big impact here, and I can’t wait to see Owen in a Hornets jersey.”

More recently, Blackwood represented the Red Devils reserve team from Salford and it was there that he caught the eye of Hornets chairman Andy Mazey.

“Owen is a young talent who came through the academy system at Super League champions St Helens – and also represented England at youth level. He caught our eye this year while playing for Salford reserves and he is looking to make a name for himself in Ligue 1 under Gary in 2023,” Mazey said.