Halifax Panthers star signs contract extension

Josh McAllister
Halifax Panthers Joe Keyes Ireland. News Images

Halifax Panthers half-back Joe Keyes has signed a new contract extension with the Championship club, keeping him at The Shay until at least the end of the 2024 season. 

Keyes, 27, joined the club from Hull KR ahead of the 2022 campaign originally on a two-year deal. He broke a club record for most points scored in a game with 34 against Workington – a record previously held by retired fan favourite Ste Tyrer.

The half-back also represented Ireland at the delayed 2021 World Cup in England, featuring in all three of their group stage matches.

He also played in every game during his debut season with Halifax, scoring 13 tries alongside 110 goals. Keyes was also nominated for the Championship Player of the Year at the end of season awards.

“I’m over the moon to be playing for the Panthers again in 2024,” said Keyes.

“I’ve absolutely loved my time here so far, so I was over the moon to get signed up for another year. We’ve got a great set of lads and are building nicely and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Halifax Panthers boss on new contract

Head coach Simon Grix was also delighted to tie down one of his key players to a new extended deal.

He added: “Extending Keyesy was a no-brainer really for us and I’d like to think for him too. His time at Halifax has been spent happy and that’s transferred into his performances.

“He is a very talented player who allows others to play well through his game management.

“As a club and as a staff, we have provided him with the trust he needed to build his confidence and develop his consistency, the rest is on Joe and his relationships with his team-mates.”

Halifax are one from two so far in the 2023 Championship campaign. They an opening weekend 26-18 win over Sheffield at home.

Grix’s side fell to a 46-22 defeat to promotion favourites Featherstone the following round. The Panthers host London Broncos this Sunday, with a 3pm kick-off.

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