ANDY RALEIGH is back at Huddersfield Giants!
The club's former Academy forward has today signed a two-year Super League contract after starring for Hull KR in National League I this season.
The performances of the 24-year-old, who is in this month's League I team of the month and played a big role in Rovers' recent Northern Rail Cup final triumph over Castleford, attracted the attention of several Super League clubs.
But the second-rower admitted that as soon as his hometown club declared an interest, his mind was made up.
"For many years I've dreamed of playing for the Giants in Super League," said the former Moldgreen junior.
"And next year that dream will become a reality.
"Had I not moved up to Newcastle University to study for a geography degree, it's possible I could have been playing for the Giants before now.
"But as things have panned out it couldn't have gone better for me.
"I served a great rugby league apprenticeship with Sheffield and Hull KR, and now I believe I'm ready to move up.
"I won't become a Huddersfield player until I've fulfilled all my season's commitments with Hull KR.
"Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to sign off by helping Rovers win the Grand Final and take their place in Super League. Raleigh has scored 17 tries in 30 appearances this season and at 6ft 3in and 16½st has the physical presence necessary to make a top back row forward.
And Giants coach Jon Sharp can't wait to work with him.
"Andy will be a very good addition to our squad for Super League XI," said Sharp.
"He is a big, strong, athletic back-rower who has been one of the form players in the National Leagues over the past few seasons.
"I know he is looking forward to making the step up to Super League where he has a great future."
* Giants gear up for massive test - Pages 48 & 49.