‘Longer term’ Huddersfield Giants thinking behind George Flanagan Jr move

HUDDERSFIELD GIANTS believe they have their replacement for NRL-bound Will Pryce in George Flanagan Jr.

Pryce, 20, is heading to Newcastle Knights at the end of the 2023 season and the Giants have already moved to sign 18-year-old Flanagan Jr who, like Pryce, can play at fullback or halfback, in his place.

After coming through the Bradford Bulls youth system, Flanagan made his Championship debut at the age of 17 last year, playing alongside his father, who is also named George.

Flanagan Jr played two matches, scoring a try on debut, and is set to remain part of Bradford’s first team this season because the transfer to Huddersfield, for an undisclosed fee, will not happen until the end of 2023.

However, he will train with the Giants throughout this year to transition into the full-time environment.

“This is a move with an eye on the longer term and George will replace Will Pryce in next year’s squad,” explained Huddersfield’s managing director, Richard Thewlis.

“We would like to thank everyone at Bradford for the manner in which this has been approached. This arrangement suits both clubs and the player. 

“George is very ambitious to go full-time at the earliest opportunity and this deal allows that, while he will also play the entire 2023 season at the Bulls alongside his father to aid his development in first-team Rugby League.

“We view his choice to join the Giants in a very positive light, as he had his pick of probably every Betfred Super League side, such is his growing reputation.

“Rather than wait, we felt it best to move now with permission of the Bulls and secure his future.”

Flanagan Jr, who has signed a four-year contract, said of the upcoming move: “The chance to work with (Huddersfield head coach) Ian Watson is massive for me.

“He is one of the best coaches in the game and, for a young lad like me, I feel I can learn from him and he will make me a better player. 

“I will learn plenty from players like Kevin Naiqama, Tui Lolohea and Jake Connor. They are massive names in the game and I hope I can learn from them when training and hopefully playing with them.”

Meanwhile, Huddersfield have confirmed their captains for the 2023 season with Luke Yates retaining the role of skipper and Leroy Cudjoe replacing Bradford-bound Michael Lawrence as club captain.