Ben Hellewell on Salford spark, Grand Final chances & his Scottish pride

Ben Hellewell Scotland PA Credit: Alamy
Ben Hellewell Scotland PA Credit: Alamy

Scotland international Ben Hellewell says he jumped at the opportunity to be in a full-time environment again when Salford came in for him.

The 30-year-old has joined the Red Devils on a one-year deal following an impressive loan spell with the Super League club last season.

Hellewell’s move from part-time Featherstone to Salford means he is able to fully focus on his rugby with Salford and park his job as an electrician.

“It’s a good move for me and my family,” Hellewell told Love Rugby League. “I get to spend more time with my kids at home now and when the opportunity came I couldn’t wait to sign.

“A few of the lads want some jobs doing for them! But I get to spend more time training and with my family.

“I love the sport, I’ve been in and out of being full-time with other teams but I came here last year for two weeks on loan and I enjoyed it so I couldn’t wait to sign when they offered me a contract.”

Salford’s added spark

Salford came agonisingly close to reaching the Grand Final last year, just falling short to champions St Helens in the semi-finals.

The Bradford-born forward is hoping to provide an added spark for Paul Rowley’s side in 2023, with the goal of reaching – and winning – the big one at Old Trafford.

“As I’m a new signing, I just want to mix in with them all and get as many games under my belt as possible,” Hellewell said.

“Going that one step further and reaching a Grand Final, we’ve got the potential, the players and the skill and everything to win it so I don’t see why we can’t.

“We’ve been training well in pre-season and we look really good so I think we’ve got a good chance of winning the Grand Final this year.”

Ben Hellewell on representing Scotland with pride

Hellewell was born and raised in England but qualifies to play for Scotland through his grandfather, who hails from Aberdeen.

The experienced back-rower made his international debut for the Bravehearts in 2011, going on to win 22 caps and play in three World Cups.

“It means a lot to me to play for Scotland,” Hellewell told Love Rugby League.

“I think I was 18 when I first played for them. I was on holiday with a few of the lads when the phone call came from (then head coach) Steve McCormack and I couldn’t wait to play for them. I’ve played for them ever since.

“I’m one of the oldest lads playing for them now. I enjoy it and it means a lot to me and my family.

“I always try to put my hand up to play and if I get selected. Hopefully I’ll stay injury free and I’ll put my hand up to play (at the European Championship).

“We’ve got a good set of lads playing for Scotland who come from different backgrounds. Most of the lads are part-time and some come from the Scottish domestic league so I always enjoy being in camp.

“Playing in World Cups and being around that environment is special. We always belt out the anthem and pulling the shirt on every time is an honour.”

Salford get their Super League campaign underway against Hellewell’s former club Leigh on February 17.

Scotland, meanwhile, will participate in the European Championship this autumn.

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