We are thrilled to report that former Brooksbank student and rugby captain has been named in a 27-man England Knights rugby squad.

Morgan Smithies began his professional rugby career by joining Wigan Warriors after leaving Brooksbank in blaze of rugby glory less than four years ago. We thought it would be good to look back at Morgan’s final Brooksbank glory days.

But before we do that, let’s roll back to 2013 when the fresh-faced youngster first captained the Year 7 rugby team. The Yorkshire Cup would be the squad’s first accolade, but we’ll save the loose forward’s blushes and not publish a celebration picture here.

Smithies’ final school game gave him the opportunity to consolidate all those previous successes. It was the National Schools Final 2017 and Morgan, a former Siddal ARLFC player, was captaining Brooksbank for the last time.

Brooksbank’s opponents weren’t just any old team either; Castleford Academy were formidable foes of considerable standing. Despite this, Smithies led his team to a fantastic victory. Aided by team mates Amir Bourouh, Riley Dean, Luka Orlic, Henry Craven and Callum Joyce, Brooksbank comprehensively beat ‘Cas’ with a splendid 16-6 finish.

The result was all the sweeter for being a repeater of the National Schools’ title win two years earlier, when both sides locked horns in Year 9.

“It was a great way to finish off the last game for school,” posted Morgan on Twitter afterwards.

Morgan’s school rugby career was crowned with selection to the England Youth Squad; he had settled in well at the Wigan Academy after joining their scholarship system. From there he rose rapidly to the first team at only 18 years old and delivered outstanding debut season.

Rugby League reporter, Matthew Shaw, described Smithies’ meteoric rise as “teenage rampage”.

In 2020, Morgan helped Wigan Warriors brandish their first League Leaders’ Shield since 2012.

Well done, Morgan! We wish you continuing success in your rugby exploits.