Ian Watson outlines long-term plan for Huddersfield Giants’ best young prospects

HUDDERSFIELD GIANTS’ squad depth is allowing them to develop their younger players “the right way”, according to head coach Ian Watson.

The Kirklees club arguably has one of the strongest rosters in Super League for the 2023 campaign.

But it means some of their young talent will have to wait patiently for their first-team breakthrough.

Among them is George Roby, a hooker who impressed at Swinton Lions last year to such a degree that he won the League One Young Player of the Year award.

The 20-year-old will have to wait a little longer to make his first-team bow at Huddersfield, however, because he will spend the upcoming season on loan at Bradford Bulls in the Championship alongside team-mate Fenton Rogers, who also spent much of last term in the third tier with Rochdale Hornets.

Meanwhile Aidan McGowan will spend 2023 with Batley Bulldogs, with Jamaican international Kieran Rush also set for a loan in the second tier following last year’s stint with Rochdale.

Watson said of Roby: “He wants to play for Huddersfield in the first team. 

“We’ve got to do it at the right time and we’ve got a real development plan for those younger players, so when the opportunity comes for them, they’re ready. 

“George feels he’s ready now, which is good, because it pushes Adam O’Brien and pushes Nathan Peats in training.

“I watched him quite a few times playing for Swinton and he was really good. His development over the last two years has been phenomenal really. 

“He came to us from Warrington, who had discarded him, we could say. He’s come here and his attitude has been outstanding in terms of what he wants to get out of his career.

“The good thing about having good-quality young kids coming through is that we can actually have a bit of a plan for them and develop them the right way. 

“Last year with George Roby, Fenton and Kieran Rush it was all about getting some League One games under their belt, and if they could handle that, then let’s step them up into the Championship. Their level this year is the Championship as a minimum.

“Kieran Rush is another one; there has been interest in Kieran because of what he’s done in the World Cup. 

“We’re keeping him here through pre-season because we want to physically develop him here, but once the season starts, we’ll try to get him out to a Championship club.”