Huddersfield Giants have completed the signing of Jack Ashworth.
The 25-year-old has signed a two-year deal with the club after the Giants beat Castleford and Hull FC to his signature.
Ashworth was a regular under former St Helens coach Justin Holbrook and played in their 2019 Grand Final victory. His form saw him represent England Knights at the end of the season, but he made just four appearances in 2020 under Kristian Woolf.
He now links up with Ian Watson next season, who had also shown interest in Ashworth while he was at Salford.
“Jack is a big mobile front-rower,” Watson said.
“Everyone in the game sees his engine, his size and his leg speed and he’s worked his trade through the Championship working his way into the first-team at St Helens, winning a Grand Final in 2019 and playing in a Challenge Cup Final as well, so he’s got that winning mentality.
“Having him come off winning a Grand Final last year is really good for us. That’s the kind of player we want – players who have won things, are here to win and a here to compete. It’s an important part of the mentality we want in a player.
“He’s got the ability to play both in the front-row and the back-row, and we’ll be concentrating on fine-tuning his skills alongside his physical attributes; he’s a big physical forward, he’s got tremendous leg speed and he’s got the mobility you need in the modern game.”
Ashworth added: “The club told me to forget about the past and look to the future. We’re building something great and I saw something in that. I saw how they were before lockdown with their performances, that there’s lots to be excited about.
“After speaking to Richard (Thewils) and looking round the club, I was impressed by how good the club’s facilities and staff were. I’d spoken to Darnell and Matty English and they’ve always said good things about the club.
“We’re building something great and I believe that’s happening. With Ian Watson at the reigns, I’m really happy to sign for the club. He’s a proven coach, and if he can build what he did at Salford, we can be a top contender. I’ve come to win things. That’s what I want to do.”
Thewlis, the Giants’ Managing Director, said: “Jack agreed to join us some time back but the announcement was held back until he had completed his club duties at St Helens.
“The attraction for us is clear in that he is already an England Knights International who has played in many big games at one of the competitions leading club St Helens and he will add some size and mobility to our pack.
“Ian Watson is a fan and was pleased that Jack was on our roster when he began talks with us about coming on board which is moving closer day by day now. Ian officially starts on December 1st and one of his first jobs will be to touch base with Jack and work out his pre-season plan which may differ slightly to others in that he has trained right up to last week whereas our lads are a few weeks into their breaks already.”