Leeds Rhinos youngster out to ‘prove his point’ after making permanent Championship switch following impressive dual-registration appearance

Ben Olawumi
Halifax Panthers, The Shay

The Shay, home of Halifax Panthers, ahead of a game in 2023 - Alamy

Halifax Panthers have confirmed the permanent signing of prop Ben Hursey-Hord from Leeds Rhinos, with the youngster wanting to ‘prove his point’ having penned a one-year deal at The Shay.

The 21- year-old joined Leeds in 2022, spending his first year as a Rhino sidelined before playing in all bar one game for the club’s reserves last term, combining his playing career with a university course off it at Leeds Beckett.

A product of the London Broncos academy system, Hursey-Hord is yet to make a senior competitive appearance in the game, but earned his chance at Halifax following an impressive second half showing on dual-registration for the Panthers.

The powerful forward came on at half time in Fax’s Christmas Eve friendly at Bradford Bulls, and did enough to convince Panthers head coach Liam Finn a permanent deal was needed.

Leeds Rhinos youngster Ben Hursey-Hord out to ‘prove his point’ after making permanent Championship switch to Halifax Panthers

With numerous accolades to his name at youth level having featured for Maidstone-based Invicta Panthers as well as London, Halifax confirmed Hursey-Hord’s arrival via their club website this evening.

As part of the deal, while the youngster continues his studies at Leeds Beckett, he’ll still train sporadically with the Rhinos.

Hursey-Hord said: “I’m delighted to be here. I can’t wait to get going with the club, hopefully get some good minutes in, and prove my point.

“When I played on Christmas Eve, conditions were tough, but it was good to get around the boys, see how they play and just gel a bit… it was a good experience.

“I’d like to call myself an explosive player, strong, fast, just like to rip in where I can and do my job. I’m just hoping to get some game time, push the club as far as I can but sort of sponge off all the other experienced players here, learn as much as I can and progress my game.”

Halifax boss Liam Finn sings praises of new recruit Ben Hursey-Hord following impressive dual-registration appearance

2024 will be new Fax boss Finn‘s first year in charge of the club he once donned a shirt for as a player. By the time new signing Hursey-Hord was born in November 2002, Finn had already featured five times for the then-Blue Sox, kicking 13 goals that year.

The ex-Ireland international added: “Ben is a great lad with a great attitude. He turned up for the Christmas Eve game with very little training with us, came on at half time when everybody else was filthy, and put himself about straight away with a couple of nice carries.

“He put himself about defensively as well, he’s a tough lad who wants to make his way in rugby league. I’ve spoken to Rohan Smith at Leeds about him, how well he’s been training and everything, but it was clear that he’s not quite ready to play first team at Headingley yet.

“When the opportunity to get him in our squad came up, to thicken our squad up especially after losing Brandon (Moore), it just gives us that bit of resilience and toughness in behind the back rowers we’ve got.

“We’re not overly stacked in that position so hopefully we’ll get him out there in the not too distant future for the Halifax fans to see and you’ll see that for a lad young, he’s a big physical lad who likes getting his hands on the ball and he likes getting the hard work done, which is always appreciated in Halifax.

“The hard working town that it is, they love anyone like that and I think they’ll like him.”

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