THACKLEY forward Matt Broadley may not seem the most obvious candidate for international recognition, but a huge honour has just been bestowed upon him.

He has been named as captain of the England Universities side and should keep the role until he finishes his masters degree.

A delighted Broadley told the T&A: “I’ve been with the uni team since 2018, but it’s a bit more special this time, being given the captaincy and trusted with an important role.

“The first time I linked up with the team was in the third year of my undergraduate degree, and now I’m doing my second masters at Leeds Beckett

“I’m only on the course part-time, and I’m not graduating until 2022, so I should have the captaincy until I finish.”

Asked about how it all works with the national side, Broadley said: “We only tend to get a couple of sessions with each other to work on things, and we’ve not really had much chance to meet during Covid.

“We’ve had three games this year, all in the space of the last month or so, and it’s still just friendlies for now.

“Usually we’d have a Home Nations tournament. We won the last one in Cardiff in 2019 and it’s held every two years.

“We’d have been hosting this year, but I’m not sure what they’ll do with it, maybe move it to next year.

“We’ve been good in the recent games we’ve had too. We’ve been working hard and I’m happy with the way we’ve been playing given we’ve not been together.”

Broadley’s club side are of course Thackley, and he is in his second spell there.

Asked what enticed him back, he said: “I liked it when I was there originally and then I was at Bridlington and wasn’t really getting game time.

“It was up in the air last season (2020/21) with Covid too and rather than umming and aahing about turning out every now and then for Bridlington, I wanted to play constantly, so that was the main reason for going back.

“I was still good friends with a few of the players, and I spoke to them after Bridlington played Thackley.

“The club said they wanted to play me, game in, game out, which was what I was after.

“I’m unsure at the minute about next season, but the way things are looking, I think it’s very likely I’ll stay.”

If he does stay, the forward can get some captaincy tips off Thackley boss Pat McGuire, who has skippered Yorkshire with pride.

Broadley said: “I’ve not really spoken about this new role itself with Pat, but we spoke about it when I was called up initially by England and he was happy and proud of me.

“For me to get that role anyway, there’s that trust there, and he’ll know why I’ve been given it.

“Pat has a wealth of experience so I hope he can give me some tips on how to approach the captaincy.”