RIP Chris Greenhall

Chris GreenhallWales Rugby League were sad to hear about the death of former Wales Students international Chris Greenhall on Monday, aged 51 after a very short battle with cancer.

Brought up in rugby union in his native Norfolk, he played for North Walsham RFC and represented Eastern Counties before discovering rugby league when moving to Cardiff as a 20-year old to study at Cardiff Institute of Higher Education.

There he became a part of the most successful Student Rugby League side in Great Britain at the time with Cardiff winning the league and cup double in 1991. He was chosen by Great Britain international Garry Schofield as the man of the match in the Cup Final, where he scored a try in Cardiff’s 19-18 win over Leeds Polytechnic at Headingley.

His performances got him into the Wales Students side, alongside his older brother Nick, and he already had three caps under his belt by the time he went out to Australia with Wales for the 1992 Student World Cup. He played in every game in that tournament, helping Wales to fourth place.

His final action in a Cardiff Institute shirt was in the 1993 UK Colleges Premiership Final, where he scored two tries against Chester College at Knowsley Road, St Helens, in his sides 36-18 win. His first was an outstanding individual effort where, with an injured knee, he ran half the length of the pitch to score, outrunning most of the Chester side to help Cardiff to their fourth national trophy of that season.

On return to Norfolk, he helped to set up the South Norfolk Saints rugby league club who reached the first ever Rugby League Conference Grand Final in 1998, losing out to Crawley Jets in Cheltenham.

His former head coach at Wales, Clive Griffiths, said: “I’m pretty devastated to hear this news. ‘Kid’ was one of the first names on my team sheet when I was coaching him.

“What’s more important though is he was a superb human being. His brother Nick, is of the same mould. It’s such sad news to hear about Chris.”

Everyone at Wales Rugby League sends their heartfelt condolences to all of Chris’ family, friends and former team-mates.