Giants move for Butler

Huddersfield Giants have completed the signing of in-demand Halifax star Chester Butler.

The 23-year-old has put pen to paper on a deal that will see him join the Giants ahead of the 2020 season. Despite interest from St Helens and Salford, the Giants have managed to win the race to sign the Halifax-born star, who has been the headline success story of the club’s reserve-grade system.

“I can’t wait to play Super League with the Giants,” Butler said.

“It has been a dream of mine to play in the Super League and to get the opportunity to be able to do so is amazing.

“Huddersfield is a club close to home and a team I’ve always watched since I was younger. It just felt right after speaking to Simon Woolford; I felt he could bring the best out of me as a person and player, and he was one of the main reasons for joining Huddersfield.”

Giants managing director Richard Thewlis added: “With Alex Mellor having turned down the opportunity to re-sign with us at this stage, we have an obvious place for a back-row or centre type player.

“We believe Chester to be a standout player in the Championship and approached Halifax for permission to speak to him.

“This was granted, and we thank Ian Croad and the Halifax club for that. They were keen for him to have a chance at the full-time environment with the gentleman’s agreement that, if game-time next year is needed, then Halifax would be our first call.

“Chester only lives a short drive from us and, via his agent, it was made known he wants to have a chance to step up to full-time. It’s great that he has chosen us over a number of other Super League options.”

Since making his breakthrough in 2016, Butler has seen his stock rise rapidly, with his ascent accelerating last year as he emerged as one of the Championship’s best players, scoring ten tries in 24 games.

The grandson of the great Colin Dixon, Butler made his debut for Wales in the 2017 World Cup and represented them in their European Championships success at the end of last year.

It’s believed that the Giants have had their eye on Butler for 12 months, and their long-term pursuit has finally seen them sign one of the Championship’s top talents.

He is the Giants’ second signing from the Championship this season after the club paid a substantial fee for young Bradford prop Oliver Wilson, who has earned rave reviews playing for the club’s Academy side since his move.