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Richard Piper joins Huddersfield Rugby Union Club from Cleckheaton

County man makes move to National II

New signing Richard Piper (left, red shirt) pictured in action against Huddersfield last season

Talented No8 Richard Piper is among a trio of Huddersfield Rugby Union Club signings from Cleckheaton.

The Yorkshire county and North of England player is moving down the M62 along with second row Josh Malkinson and back row Joey Carly.

Lockwood Park head coach Gareth Lewis is strengthening solidly for National II North and feels the latest new arrivals will be keen to prove their worth.

On the powerful Piper, Lewis explained: “Richard trained with us briefly a couple of years ago but remained loyal to Cleckheaton.

“However, this time round he’s decided he wants the challenge of National II rugby and is very hungry to test himself.

Richard Piper has signed for Huddersfield Rugby Union Club

“I’ve got to know him pretty well in recent months and he’s an honest lad who knows he must improve his fitness levels to have the desired impact at the level of rugby we about to embark on. “With a tough pre-season under his belt, he could be a real handful to opposition defences.”

Piper made 19 appearances for Cleckheaton last season as they finished third from bottom of National III North, scoring 11 tries.

Carly made 13 appearances for the Moorend club last season, including their heavy defeat at Lockwood Park.

He and Malkinson will be looking to press for first-team shirts.

Lewis added: “Josh Malkinson is very determined to test himself at National level.

“He has an excellent attitude and will be a great asset to the squad, as will Joey.”

Meanwhile, Cleckheaton have appointed former Huddersfield player Thiu Barnard as head coach.

Barnard, originally from South Africa and who played for Durban Collegians and the Sharks U20 team before joining Huddersfield at 21, has been coach and player-coach at Sheffield Tigers for the last three seasons.

Before that he was head coach at Bowden, with both clubs being promoted under his stewardship.

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