The 200 club at Yorkshire Carnegie is a strictly front row affair with Phil Nilsen set to make his double century this weekend at London Scottish and joining Rob Rawlinson and Mike Shelley in the elite group.
Leeds legend Mike Shelley joined the club in 1996 from West Hartlepool. Mike had been the pack leader for a number of years but was given the added responsibility of captain for the 2000-2001 season, a role he continued until the 2003-04 season. The 2004-05 campaign saw Mike surpass the 200 appearance mark for the Tykes and he experienced one of his proudest moments for the club when he lifted the Powergen Cup after the Tykes win over Bath at Twickenham.
Mike was a loyal servant to the club and to many epitomised the Tykes. At the end of the 2005-06 season, despite being due a well earned testimonial Mike made the decision to retire after 10 years and 244 appearances for the club.
Mike started out at Moortown, eaving them after a season to join West Park Bramhope. He did not become a prop until he went to Newcastle University but a year later he was in Bramhope’s first XV and two years after that, he was playing in the First Division for West Hartlepool.
After two seasons with West, Phil Davies persuaded him to step down two divisions to join the new set up at Headingley, where he was given a job as a development officer.
Two seasons in the third division and three in the second put his international ambitions on hold for half a decade, however he returned to the England fold with a return to the top flight and marked his comeback with a substitute appearance for England A against Wales in Bristol on 22nd March. Mike’s form at the end of the 2004-05 season saw him recalled into the England A side, when he joined the team for the Churchill Cup tournament.
Rob Rawlinson was the first player in the club’s history to earn a testimonial with the club. In his ten years at the club he helped the team achieve promotion to the top flight three times and was a Powergen Cup winner in 2005.
“Rawly” joined the club in early August 1999 from Orrell, where he had spent four seasons and coincidentally made his debut for Leeds against his former club. Rob had a good first season where he battled it out with Mark Luffman for the starting hooking spot however the following season he suffered a severe hand injury that limited his appearances to just four.
The arrival of England international Mark Regan saw Rob once again forced to battle it out for the number two shirt, but in the 2003-2004 season, with Regan on international duty at the World Cup he excelled in the side, making 17 starts and five appearances as a replacement. In the 2004-05 season Rob became only the fourth player in Leeds’ history to make 100 league appearances for the club, his 100th appearance came against Worcester Warriors in the European Shield Final and he also collected his first piece of silverware with Leeds when he came on as replacement in the Powergen Cup Final.
His dedication to the cause and commitment to the club was evident during a difficult 2005-06 season, Rob was one of the most consistent performers and was often the number one hooker ahead of British Lion Gordon Bulloch.
In the 2008-09 season he made his second appearance at Twickenham in the starting line up of the National Trophy game against Moseley and helped the team secure promotion back to the Guinness Premiership. Rob played for his home town side of Littleborough before moving onto Orrell.
Currently 24 players have played over 100 games for the club since the formation of Leeds RUFC in 1992. The next player likely to reach the milestone is second row Matt Smith, who has currently made 95 appearances for the club. The list of all the players who have made over 100 appearances for the club in all competitions is as follows:
|Name||Appearances (all competitions)|