Huddersfield Giants tie down young cross-code starlet with first professional deal: ‘This was always a major goal’

Ben Olawumi
Huddersfield Giants

Huddersfield Giants - Alamy

Huddersfield Giants have handed young forward Jack Billington his first professional contract, a deal which runs until the end of 2025, following an impressive loan spell in the Championship.

6ft 4in powerhouse Billington featured in all of the last seven games this term for Barrow Raiders between August and September, helping the Cumbrian outfit over the line in their bid for survival.

The prop – who joined the Giants aged 14 and recently featured for Yorkshire in an Academy Origin series – too has vast experience in rugby union. Also representing his county in union, he was involved in an U18s training squad internationally with England.

But having opted to stick permanently with league, and after shining at Barrow, he’s now committed his future to Huddersfield with this two-year deal.

Huddersfield Giants tie down young cross-code star with first professional deal

A local and a boyhood supporter of the Giants, Billington told their club website: “I feel over the moon and honoured to sign my first senior contract with the club.

“I have come from being a fan to working my way through the youth system, and this was always a major goal of mine. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Barrow and learnt some valuable lessons about playing men’s rugby despite my short stay there.

“The most important lesson I learnt is that no matter how hurt you are you still have a job to do for the people around you.

“I would like to thank all the coaching and support staff for helping me get this far and also for helping me be at my best at all times.”

Former Broncos boss heaps praise on Giants academy star Jack Billington

While Billington will be headed up by Ian Watson – who has demanded a better mentality from his squad come 2024 – whenever first-team opportunities arise, his academy chief at the Giants is another hometown boy in Tom Tsang.

The former London Broncos boss was appointed Head of the Academy for the John Smith’s Stadium outfit in 2021, and earlier this month signed a two-year extension to remain in his current role.

Tsang praised the promising forward, adding: “Jack came to us from Rugby Union as a powerful and athletic but ultimately very raw player.

“It’s through his own hard work and desire that he’s attacked everything thrown at him by the Giants staff with great intent and focus to develop into the player he is today.

“[He is] still powerful and athletic, but now also with game understanding and some fine skill plus a love for the physical side of the game.

“He is also a very polite and humble young man, and knows that the hardest of work hasn’t even started yet if he is to reach his huge potential, but I know he will do everything he can to get there.”

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