How Alex Walmsley nearly signed for Huddersfield

Sam Tomkins Alex Walmsley St Helens PA
Alex Walmsley in action for St Helens

St Helens forward Alex Walmsley could have joined Huddersfield before he signed for Championship side Batley.

Walmsley had been playing at an amateur level for NCL side Dewsbury Celtic, and was also playing at Leeds Met University, where he was studying to be a Quantity Surveyor.

In 2011, he won the National Conference League’s Player of the Year whilst playing at Dewsbury Celtic.

He had coaches coming to watch him, including from Huddersfield and Batley. However, the Giants did not have the cap space to sign him.

After just a few months with Batley, he signed a deal with St Helens, and has gone on to have an incredible career. He has been part of four Super League winning sides, and also helped the side to a Challenge Cup.

He has also gone on to play for England at the 2017 World Cup. Walmsley also played every game of the Great Britain tour of the Southern Hemisphere back in 2019.

Walmsley “blew away” university coach

Walmsley’s coach at Leeds Met Paul Fletcher told Super League Stories: “I first met him at the freshers fair- that’s when we sign all the players on for the following season.

“He actually said to me, can I get a scholarship out of you? I said, mate you might not even get in my first-team. After he played the trial game, I looked at my assistant coach Paul Cook, and said how has he slipped through the net?

“He blew me away. I couldn’t believe he hadn’t been signed professionally by somebody.

“Paul Cook, who was the assistant coach at Huddersfield, brought Nathan Brown here as well. Both Nathan and John Kear were watching him play.

“However, the cap had been filled at Huddersfield, so they couldn’t sign him. As a result, John jumped at the chance to sign him (for Batley).”

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About Steven Hughes 413 Articles
Love Rugby League writer.

1 Comment

  1. Great decision there Big Al!
    You dodged a bullet there.
    Think of all those bench seats, your ass would have walmed, whilst an over paid and under performing ‘marquee’ has been is picked ahead of you!
    Think of the testimonial you would have missed out on, when they offloaded you to Halifax, after two season in an nonexistent reserve team!
    Think of all thse trophies you wouldn’t have won……………………….!

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