Huddersfield Giants have confirmed their first signing of the off-season in the shape of Bradford Bulls prop Paul Clough.
As revealed in League Express months ago, Clough joins the Giants on a two-year deal, after spending the last two seasons in the Championship with the Bulls.
Clough spent the majority of his career at St Helens, making his debut for the Super League Giants in 2005 and stayed there until his move to the Bulls in 2015.
An experienced forward, the 29-year-old made over 150 appearances for the Saints before spending a year with Widnes on loan in 2014.
He joined the Bulls ahead of their spell in the Championship, becoming a regular in their front-row.
“I have missed the Super League competition that’s true but I made a promise to the Bulls when signing for them that I would continue with them even when relegated and do my utmost to get them back into Super League,” said Clough.
“We missed that target by literally a few minutes in 2015 but 2016 has been a difficult year for everyone at the club and when the opportunity arose to join Huddersfield I had no hesitation.
“I am disappointed with how things ended at the Bulls and hope that they can sort things out and return to the top end of the game but my focus is now with the Giants and the job in hand here. I believe the club under achieved last year through a whole host of reasons and my aim is to bring a very strong work ethic and establish myself into the group.
“There are lots of front rowers here and hopefully I can pass some of my experience onto the younger lads as even after a few days I can see a lot of potential in the likes of Nathan Mason, Tyler Dickinson and Matthew English. I have played with a few of the lads already here in the England Knights squad before but we really need to have all our internationals back from their countries before we can start looking at combinations, structures and some game pattern stuff so for now its heads down with Steve Walsh in the gym and no doubt the hills of Huddersfield.”
Giants managing director Richard Thewlis added: “Cloughy is a top rate professional and highly respected in the game. He brings real genuine big game experience to the squad and in speaking to him it was clear he wants to get himself back into the key games where he spent most of his career before moving to the Bulls where things didn’t work out for him as he or they wanted. He is very similar in many respects to a former favourite here Paul Jackson in that he does the tough stuff in the middle very well and does a lot of the unsung heavy graft that enables others to flourish around him.
“He does face a stern amount of competition in the front row area as Daniel Smith is nearing fitness after his year out and we are expecting further physical gains in the off season from younger men Nathan Mason and Tyler Dickinson in particular to complement the established senior props Craig Huby, Sam Rapira and Sebastine Ikahihifo.”