Huddersfield Giants’ Academy International Mikey Wood will join the club’s Super League squad for next season after signing a two-year contract.
The 19-year-old played in both England Academy games this year against Australia and has been at the Giants from scholarship and now into the top flight squad after playing amateur rugby at Slaithwaite Saracens.
Giants head of youth Andy Kelly said: “Mikey has shown he is a top player within his age group, representing the Giants and England at Academy level.
“The challenge now for Mikey will be to show that consistency against senior players and established Super League players.
“He will complete his BTEC studies shortly in our full time academy structure and, then after finishing his 19s season, he must get his head down for what will be a tough first pre-season for him in the first grade environment.
“He thoroughly deserves this opportunity and joins a growing number of local lads – Liam Johnson, Kruise Leeming, Tyler Dickinson, Jake Connor, Nathan Mason and Josh Johnson – who have all come through the Giants system into the full squad.”
And the player is understandably delighted to be handed his chance.
“I was over the moon when Paul Anderson called me in and said there was a place next year for me,” said Wood. “We were always told that there were spots available next year, so I’m delighted I’ve got one.
“I know a bit of what’s ahead as I have trained with the firsts a few times – which I’d like more of.
“I also know that it’s a tough ask to get into the team, but it’s my local side and it would be a dream come true if I can make it here as a Super League professional.”
Giants head coach Paul Anderson added: “Mikey has been a standout figure throughout this club in his year group.
“He has patiently remained in the academy system and, having missed out on moving up last year, but his form now dictates that he is a player to invest further in and see if he can take the next step.
“He is big enough and mobile too, so he will get every chance in the pre-season to show his worth and it’s good that the club is retaining the younger lads as I know a number of our competitors would have liked to see Mikey in their colours.”