Huddersfield Giants have confirmed the signing of Bradford Bulls utility Alex Mellor on a three-year contract.
The 22-year-old scored nine tries in 26 appearances for the Bulls last season, making him one of the most highly regarded youngsters in the Championship last year.
Mellor is the third former Bradford player to secure his future following the Bulls’ liquidation earlier this week, following Jason Walton and Tom Olbison, who have joined Featherstone and Widnes respectively.
The move, which was first reported on TotalRL on Wednesday, takes Huddersfield’s signing tally to six ahead of 2017, with four of those players joining from Bradford. Lee Gaskell, Dale Ferguson and Paul Clough had previously left the Bulls to join the Giants.
Head coach Rick Stone said: “Like everyone, I am extremely disappointed to see the ways that things have unfolded at the Bulls and frankly it’s a pretty shocking development for the game as a whole in this country and a wake-up call to everyone involved in the administration of our sport.
“From Alex’s perspective I guess he simply needed an opportunity and employment which I’m pleased that we are in a position to be able to offer him. He lives near our club, he’s already played quite a lot of senior games for someone of his age and clearly he has a deal of potential to exploit in his game and physical development. He’s a big lad and his ability to play second row or centre helps the make-up of our squad and I expect him to challenge strongly in the group for a place in our 17.
“His previous coach Rohan Smith spoke highly of his work ethic and professionalism as well as his ability so for Alex to be keen to get himself straight back into the sport as a Giant I think is good for all concerned. As a coach you normally are quoted as being delighted and over the moon with your new recruits but for this signing it is tinged with some sadness as to how its materialised of course but as I say we have given a chance to a relatively local and young up and coming British player which is something that pleases me and will help our squad in the short and longer term. ”
Mellor added: “It has been a hard time at Bradford for everyone involved and I can’t thank the club enough for what they have done for me, I have been there eight years, including scholarship and I will be forever grateful to them. Like the rest of the lads I was devastated earlier in the week but to be honest I’d been well advised (by Manager, Craig Harrison) and we’d been talking about the “what if scenario…” which was a frightening thought and one that sadly came to fruition.
“I’m over the moon to be signing for the Giants, the set-up is second to none and there is a genuine opportunity for a place in the matchday 17, which is what my aim is. I start training on Friday, which I’m looking forward to meeting up with the rest of the squad and I can’t wait to get started under Rick Stone.”