Huddersfield’s Harry Rushton poised to make debut against former club Wigan

Josh McAllister
Harry Rushton, SWPix.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/

Harry Rushton says he is looking forward to making his Huddersfield debut against his former club Wigan, expecting some of his ex-team-mates to want to ‘cave his head in’. 

Rushton, 21, is set to make his first appearance for the Giants from the bench this Friday at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Born in Blackpool, Rushton went to play his amateur rugby league at Wigan St Pats, playing alongside current Warriors forward Ethan Havard.

He later moved to Shevington Sharks as a youngster before joining Wigan on a scholarship. He progressed through the academy and made his Super League debut in 2020 against St Helens.

Kai Pearce-Paul made his first appearance in the same fixture alongside Rushton, while Harry Smith also featured in the halves.

“There’s a lot of players in the current Wigan team who I came through the academy with – Morgan Smithies, Ethan Havard and Harry Smith. It’s exciting for me,” Rushton said on his debut.

“It’s weird because I always looked up to a lot of players there, so to now go up and play against them, hopefully we can get a win on Friday which will be really special.

“I haven’t spoken to any of them, but I’m sure they’re excited to play against me and cave my head in!”

Patient Harry Rushton earns Huddersfield chance

Rushton made his return to Super League from Canberra Raiders ahead of the new season on a three-year deal with Huddersfield.

The Ireland international suffered a slight injury setback during pre-season training, and has had to remain patient ever since to get his first-team chance.

And he knows well that there’s plenty of competition within the Giants squad, which is only a motivation for the youngster to prove his worth.

“I’m really excited. It’s been frustrating over the last couple of weeks for me obviously not being picked,” Rushton said. 

“There’s a lot of experience in front of me. I’ve not really played a lot of games, and I’ve not had chance to prove myself.

“I’ve been trying to put my best foot forward in training and Watto (Watson) has been telling me his plans every week. 

“I want to go out there and prove to him that he’s made the right decision in playing me this week.

“I always came in hoping to play. There’s a lot of experience in front of me. I’ve not had chance to play a lot of games or prove myself. Now I’ve got to take this opportunity on Friday.

“My two main aims is to keep my shirt for next week and to help the boys win in whatever way I can.”

Ian Watson on Rushton’s debut

Head coach Watson has already predicted a “phenomenal” future for his off-season recruit, who represented Ireland at the World Cup last year.

He was one of three new forwards added to Huddersfield’s squad ahead of 2023 – given number 16 for his first year.

“I’m really excited to see Harry,” Watson commented. “I wanted to get him in for a while now. I watched him in the reserves the other week and he was way above that level, which you’d expect from where he’s come from. 

“It’s funny how things work out – Wigan is going to be his first game for his new club in Huddersfield.

“He knows all about what they’re about and what they like to play like. He’ll be excited to play and I’m excited to see him.

“I’ve got big wraps on Harry. We just need him to do what he does best and one of those things is his work ethic.”

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