One of the members of Levante Cricket Club got some exciting news recently when he was selected to play for Spain’s Rugby League team in a pre qualifier of the European phase of the 2017 World Cup in Latvia last weekend.
Andrew Pilkington, an opening bowler for the Valencia club, not only played in Spain’s win in the Upesciema Stadium, just outside Riga, but also scored a try in the 32-12 victory.
Spain will now join Malta and Greece in the next phase of the Rugby League World Cup 2017 qualifiers later this summer, with the winners going through to the final round of the European phase.
Summarising the whole experience with the National side as “phenomenal” he added “Reflecting on a massive personal weekend of rugby league and on the bigger picture of life. We return home from Latvia battered and bruised but those things will heal a lot quicker than the pain that many in the rugby world will be feeling. Being part of that minute’s silence was perhaps as emotional as listening to the national anthem and will stay with me just as long. There are many good and worthy causes out there to support and donate to, but if you can, please think about the Jones family, not just now but in the seasons to come” (refering to the tragic passing of Danny Jones of Keighley Cougars who died suddenly after the game against London Skolars earlier this month)
Pilkington was one of several players from the side who play for his local Rugby League Club Valencia Warriors. He has also represented Spain at cricket, having played for a Spanish Select Side in 2014 against the Tom Maynard Cricket Academy. He expects to be back in the Levante fold next weekend when his club host a touring side from the United Kingdom.
His best bowling effort for Levante in the league came in 2013 against the Intellectuals of Alicante when he finished with figures of 5-20 from just under ten overs. He also chips in with the bat from time to time, when required, and to date his top league score was 34, also in 2013, when the opponents were Madrid II. 2013 was his most productive year to date for Levante when he bowled 63.3 overs in ten league matches at an average of 15.64 and an economy rate at 2.71.
Levante’s first team are yet to appear in the league this year but the club are hopeful Pilkington will continue to be one of their main strike bowlers for the forthcoming season, and that he will replicate the form shown in the past, that earned him a deserved call up to the Spanish Cricket Academy for the Maynard game.