Giants youngster returns from Canberra

Huddersfield Giants forward Ronan Michael is expecting to be back with the club when the season resumes.

The 19-year-old was originally sent on loan to Canberra Raiders’ Under-20s side for the 2020 season, in a new Academy agreement between the two sides, before their Jersey Flegg competition was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Despite the fact the Irish international only tasted pre-season in Australia, with the competition halted before Round 1, he still took a wealth of experience from the opportunity.

“Sadly, their competition was cancelled, so I will most likely be going back to Huddersfield when all of this changes,” Michael told League Express.

“I was loving it over there, but it was all a bit mad that it was cut short. We didn’t get the play our first round, but I really took a lot from it.

“Even just training I feel like I’ve improved. Just being with your own age-group was great for me and you get a lot of attention.

“Sometimes in the first team you slip under the radar because the senior players are levels ahead of you.”

A return to Huddersfield would see the prop aim to earn his first Super League outing, after having signed a new contract with the club running until 2021 at the start of the season.

“That’s the goal, to make my debut in Super League and really come back and give it a good crack.

“I want to show them it was worth them sending me over there and to show what I’ve learned and how I’ve become a better player.

“I wouldn’t turn down any opportunity if I could go back over, I’d love to give it another crack.

“I’m only young, so there’s plenty of time for me to move to the other side of the world and do something different.

“I’d love to give it another crack, at some point. I got the taster of it and I’ve been exposed to it, so I’d love to go back over at some point in the future and do it properly.”

Michael’s rapid rise in the sport has seen him go from Irish domestic club Longhorns RL to Huddersfield Giants and Canberra Raiders in only two years, after first switching to Rugby League in 2018.

He self-funded his first trip to England in 2018, for a trial with the Giants, and was awarded a one-year Academy contract, before being promoted to the first team after just a solitary campaign.

“I don’t believe that it’s real,” Michael added.

“Some days I think that it’s not really happening.

“There was a stage, two years ago, that I wasn’t even going to play rugby at all, but then I found Rugby League. Things just snowballed and I ended up in Australia. I couldn’t have ever dreamed of it.”

His next dream in the sport is to represent his country at the 2021 World Cup in England, with the Irish side set to be based in Leeds following last week’s announcement.

“Fingers crossed, I’ll be involved in the World Cup,” Michael said.

“If I’m still playing Rugby League by 2021, I want to be in that squad.

“It’s the pinnacle of your career representing your country at the World Cup, in any sport.

“From now until then it’s about doing the best I can to be involved and test myself against the best of the best.

“We’ve got a lot of Irish-born players making their way through the ranks and lads are following in my footsteps.

“That’s down to the progress of the domestic competition, which has improved heaps since I was involved.

“If those lads could come over and get involved with a club in England, it would be massive for the game in Ireland.”