Huddersfield Giants boss backs Ronan Michael in loan spell

Huddersfield coach Ian Watson reckons a season-long stint in the Championship could be the making of Ronan Michael.

The Giants see plenty of potential in the 21-year-old prop, who has already played five times for Ireland, but given his relatively recent introduction to Rugby League, they realise he needs more game time to get up to Super League level.

Back in 2020, Michael was sent to Canberra as part of a player-development project between the Giants and the Raiders, only for his stay to be cut short due to Covid.

This year, he played four times on loan to Whitehaven and eleven in two spells at Swinton – and now he will spend the whole of the 2022 campaign with ambitious York.

And Watson, who has recruited two props in former Warrington stalwart Chris Hill and Nathan Mason from Leigh, so making the odds on Michael featuring even longer, hopes he will figure on a regular basis as James Ford’s side set their sights on a promotion challenge.

The Dubliner, who played rugby union for the noted Clontarf club before joining the Huddersfield Academy at the age of 17, has made one Super League appearance for the Giants, from the bench in the 19-6 defeat at Wigan in June 2020, after he had returned from Canberra.

He will train full-time with Huddersfield for the remainder of this year before linking up with the Knights in January.

“With Reserve fixtures only occurring every few weeks, that won’t be enough,” explained Watson.

“He’s a little behind in game time so we want to get him playing at a good level to give himself a shot at being a Super League player, and a shot at getting in the Ireland squad for the World Cup.”

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