An ultimate 13 of rugby league players born in Huddersfield, including Super League septet

Ben Olawumi
Toby King, Harry Newman, Leroy Cudjoe

Toby King (left), Harry Newman (middle) & Leroy Cudjoe (right) all feature in our Huddersfield-born Dream Team

Throughout the summer at Love Rugby League, we’re going to be taking a geographical tour of some of rugby league’s most famous towns and cities and compiling some dream line-ups comprising of active players.

Some places will unsurprisingly throw out star-studded sides with some of the best players in the world included. But some may surprise you about the quality of stars the area has produced.

So far in this feature series, we’ve taken a look at Halifax, Widnes, Warrington & Wigan.

Next up? Huddersfield, the birthplace of rugby league! At the heart of the town where 21 clubs agreed to set up the Northern Rugby Football Union in August 1895, Huddersfield Giants have fielded six academy products so far in 2024.

Here’s our ultimate 13 of players born or raised in Huddersfield…

1. Darnell McIntosh

Darnell McIntosh
Darnell McIntosh pictured during his Leigh Leopards debut away against Huddersfield Giants in May 2024

Born in Huddersfield, McIntosh – who has Grenadian heritage – is a product of the Giants academy and, debuting for them in 2017, made 99 appearances for his hometown club before departing at the end of 2021. The 26-year-old is able to slot in anywhere in the backline, but we’ve opted to put him in at full-back.

Featuring predominantly on the wing, he joined Hull FC upon leaving the Giants, making 53 appearances for the Airlie Birds before linking up with fellow Super League outfit Leigh earlier this year. His debut for the Leopards actually came at Huddersfield last month.

2. Jermaine McGillvary

Jermaine McGillvary
Jermaine McGillvary celebrates a try for Wakefield Trinity in 2024

An absolute Giants legend, McGillvary represented his hometown club with pride for almost 15 years having come through the youth setup to debut at first-team level in 2010. By the time he departed at the end of last season, only three men had made more appearances for Huddersfield in the summer era than his 312, and no one had scored more tries than his 209 in the same period.

Starring for both England & Great Britain along the way, as well as representing his Grenadian heritage as he pulled on the Combined Nations All Stars shirt, the winger lifted the League Leaders’ Shield in 2013 and earned accolades aplenty. Now 36, he’s with Wakefield Trinity in the Championship, and is closing in on the milestone of 250 career tries at club level.

3. Toby King

Toby King Warrington Wolves Alamy
Toby King in action for Warrington Wolves in 2024

Meltham All Blacks junior King spent a brief period of time in Huddersfield’s youth ranks before being snapped up by Warrington Wolves, who he debuted for at first-team level back in 2014. Since then, he’s never permanently departed The Halliwell Jones Stadium, winning the Challenge Cup in 2019, but has had loan stints elsewhere including one with the Giants themselves in 2022.

Spending 2023 on loan at Wigan Warriors, the centre was crowned a Super League champion, but is now back at Wire in Sam Burgess’ squad. With international caps for both Ireland & England, the 27-year-old is fast approaching the landmark of 200 career appearances at club level.

4. Harry Newman

Harry Newman
Leeds Rhinos’ Harry Newman runs with the ball in hand in 2024

Fellow England international centre Newman was born in Huddersfield, but came through Leeds Rhinos’ academy to make a senior debut in 2017. Spending time out on dual-registration with Featherstone Rovers, it took until April 2019 for the young gun’s real breakthrough to come at Headingley, but he has not looked back since then.

Crowned Super League’s Young Player of the Year in 2020, Newman – now 24 – reached the milestone of 100 career appearances earlier this year as well as surpassing the landmark of 50 career tries having memorably scored at Headingley for England in last autumn’s test series against Tonga.

5. Innes Senior

Innes Senior Castleford Tigers Alamy
Innes Senior in action for Castleford Tigers in 2024

Three-time Ireland international Senior is a product of the Giants’ youth ranks, along with twin brother Louis who (spoiler alert) is named on our bench. Innes debuted for Huddersfield’s first-team in 2018, but was never really able to cement a spot in the side at the John Smith’s Stadium, heading out on loan to Workington Town & Wakefield Trinity.

The 23-year-old featured in the 2022 Challenge Cup final for his hometown club, but having made 58 appearances in their colours, he was sent out on loan to Castleford Tigers at the start of this year in a deal which saw Elliot Wallis head the other way permanently. Flying at Cas, Senior’s move to The Jungle will become permanent from 2025. Twin Louis is with him there, too!

6. Amir Bourouh

Amir Bourouh
Amir Bourouh walks out ahead of a Salford Red Devils game in 2024

A somewhat unconventional move to put Bourouh in the halves, but it is a position he has played in previously. The 23-year-old – more commonly found in the #9 role – was born in Huddersfield though was raised nearby in Halifax. Through his father, he has both Algerian & French heritage.

Coming through the academy system at Wigan, Bourouh debuted at senior level in 2019, but made just nine appearances in total for the Warriors along with featuring on loan for Halifax Panthers. He was signed by Salford in 2022, and having had further loans at both London Broncos, Barrow Raiders & Swinton Lions, he is now somewhat of a mainstay in the Red Devils’ team.

7. Izaac Farrell

Izaac Farrell
Izaac Farrell in action for Jamaica in 2021

Izaac, the son of ex-Giants ace Anthony, too came through the junior ranks at Huddersfield and debuted for them in 2017 in the Challenge Cup against Swinton. The Lions were one of three teams he featured on loan for, also donning the shirts of Batley Bulldogs & Workington, before he made a permanent departure from the John Smith’s Stadium midway through 2019.

Joining Rochdale Hornets, the 26-year-old then linked up with Sheffield Eagles ahead of 2020. He remains with the Eagles today, but is currently out on loan at Keighley Cougars having also spent time on loan with Midlands Hurricanes last term. The playmaker has Trinidadian, Scottish & Jamaican heritage, and represented the latter in 2021 against Scotland.

8. Josh Johnson

Josh Johnson
Josh Johnson pictured in 2022, during his time as a Salford Red Devils player

Prop Johnson was born in Huddersfield and raised in Oldham, but still started out with the Giants and came through their academy, making a senior debut in 2013. 11 years on, at the age of 29, he’s now played for 11 clubs in total including loans and dual-registration appearances.

Seven of those, including Huddersfield, have been permanent homes, though the Giants remain the side he made the most appearances for with 35 games for his ‘hometown’ team on his CV. Johnson is now in League 1 with highly ambitious outfit Oldham, featuring nine times for the Roughyeds to date, all off the bench.

9. Joel Farrell

Joel Farrell
Joel Farrell pictured in action for Sheffield Eagles in 2019

The older brother of our half-back Izaac, 30-year-old Joel made his first senior appearance in the game back in 2014 for Dewsbury Rams, also featuring on loan for the then-known Gateshead Thunder the same year. Having moved on to Batley and made just shy of 50 appearances for the Bulldogs, he joined Sheffield in 2019.

In his first year with the Eagles, he scored a try at Wembley as they were crowned the first-ever winners of the 1895 Cup. He remains with Mark Aston’s side today, and earlier this year reached the landmark of 100 appearances for the club, also surpassing 200 at club level in his career. Joel is a 10-time Jamaica international, debuting for the Reggae Warriors in 2015.

10. George King

George King
George King celebrates Hull KR’s win at Hull FC on the opening night of the 2024 Super League season

Much like younger brother Toby, 29-year-old George spent time in Huddersfield’s youth system, but departed for Warrington and made his senior debut for the Wolves in 2014. Featuring in two Challenge Cup final defeats and two Super League Grand Final defeats, he made 96 Wire appearances before departing for Wakefield in 2019.

The prop spent just over a year with Trinity, joining Hull KR in 2020 during the COVID-19 Pandemic. A 13-time Ireland international, and the captain of the Wolfhounds, King has fallen out of favour at Craven Park – where he needs just eight appearances to reach 100 for the club – and looks like he could be set for a return to Huddersfield from 2025.

11. Michael Lawrence

We mentioned that only three men have more Giants appearances on their CV in the summer era than McGillvary. One of those is Lawrence with 324, a certified icon in HD1. Debuting for his hometown club in 2007, Lawrence featured in the 2009 Challenge Cup final and lifted the League Leaders’ Shield in 2013.

He departed Huddersfield at the end of 2022, linking up with Championship outfit Bradford Bulls, and is still at Odsal now having turned 34 in April. The Giants legend featured at international level for England Knights back in 2012, but has since gone on to make five appearances for Jamaica, representing his heritage in doing so.

12. Leroy Cudjoe

Leroy Cudjoe Huddersfield Giants Alamy
Leroy Cudjoe in action for Huddersfield Giants in 2024

McGillvary gets another mention here, because Cudjoe is his cousin, and without that relationship, the winger may never have donned a Giants shirt! 36-year-old Cudjoe remains with his hometown club today having made 373 appearances for them. Only Eorl Crabtree (424) has made more for Huddersfield in the summer era.

A 12-time England international, Cudjoe has never pulled on another club’s shirt, not even as a loanee. He too featured in the 2009 Challenge Cup final defeat to Warrington, and was involved in 2022 as Wigan pipped the Giants to the post in the same competition at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. He missed just one game in 2013 en-route to lifting the League Leaders’ Shield.

13. Max King

Max King
Max King runs out ahead of a Canterbury Bulldogs game in 2024

The third King in this side, Max was born in Huddersfield in 1997 while Australian father David was playing for the Giants. His mother hails from Dewsbury, so the 27-year-old is eligible for both the Kangaroos & England on the international front, with his only representation to date an appearance for Australia’s Prime Minister’s XIII against a Papua New Guinea equivalent in 2022.

Versatile forward Max, who lived in Huddersfield until he was seven, debuted in the NRL for the Gold Coast Titans in 2017, also playing for Melbourne Storm before joining current club Canterbury Bulldogs in 2022. Earlier this year, the West Maitland Wallaroo junior reached the milestone of 100 NRL appearances.


Louis Senior, Greg Johnson, Oliver Roberts, AJ Wallace