NRL playmaker talks confirmed as club moves ahead in Huddersfield, Leeds and Hull transfer fight

Josh McAllister
Adam Clune, Huddersfield Giants

Ian Watson has confirmed his interest in NRL playmaker Adam Clune.

Huddersfield Giants head coach Ian Watson says the club have spoken with NRL playmaker Adam Clune about a potential move for the 2024 Super League season.

Clune, 28, is currently with Newcastle Knights but is yet to make an NRL appearance in 2023 under Adam O’Brien.

The half-back, good friends with ex-Wigan and Salford man Jackson Hastings, joined the Knights ahead of 2022, having made his debut with St George Illawarra Dragons in 2020.

He has made 43 NRL appearances to date, scoring three tries, and has attracted attention from several Super League clubs.

Huddersfield are believed to be the front-runners to land the Australian playmaker, according to Examiner Live, with Leeds Rhinos and Hull FC also showing interest in Clune.

Speaking to press on Friday afternoon, Watson confirmed that the club have held conversations with the player, who is off contract at the end of the year.

“I’ve seen with the press that originally we weren’t in that one [the race for Adam Clune], it was Hull and Leeds a couple of weeks ago,” Watson said.

“But we’re interested, we’ll see. We’re speaking, probably like everyone else.

“We’ll see and we’re hopeful that we can get something done like we always are when we speak to players.

“It was interesting because for four weeks all we’ve seen is Hull and Leeds on that one.”


Ian Watson discusses recruitment drive with exits ahead

Huddersfield will lose highly-rated youngster Will Pryce to the NRL at the end of the year, while France international Theo Fages will join Catalans Dragons on a two-year deal from 2024.

The transfers have forced Watson to look into the player market for at least one replacement for the next campaign, but admits he does not want to rush any decisions.

“We’re having a look everywhere to be fair, in the NRL and in the UK,” Watson told Love Rugby League.

“We’re looking to see what’s the right fit for our team. It’s not always necessary chasing a name, it’s about signing the right player that will make our team better and improve us on and off the field.

“I think the biggest one for us is getting somebody who can help control our team.

“If you look at the squad at the moment, we’ve got players like Jake Connor and Tui Lolohea, we’ve got those sort of running players within our squad and when we’ve lost people like Theo [Fages] and Oliver Russell this year, we’ve struggled because we’ve not had anybody who can give us that control on the field.

“What we think we need is somebody who is going to be a threat themselves as a player but who can also bring that team cohesion together and be able to control that moving forward.”

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