Huddersfield Giants forward Oliver Roberts is determined that 2016 will be his breakthrough year.

The second rower, who will celebrate his 20th birthday on Christmas Eve, is aiming to make an impact in Super League with head coach Paul Anderson’s side next term after a year of great promise last season.

After joining the Giants from Bradford Bulls before last season on a two-year contract, Roberts had a loan spell with Sheffield Eagles and then played seven games for Huddersfield dual-registration partners Oldham as the Lancashire side won promotion to the Championship.

But the huge bonus came at the end of the Super League season with Huddersfield-born Roberts gaining selection for Mark Aston’s Ireland side to play in the 2015 European Cup.

Picked alongside teammate Scott Grix, and facing clubmate Danny Brough of Scotland and former Giant Craig Kopczak with Wales, Roberts took his chance and was one of the stand-out performers in the tournament.

But Roberts knows that now is the time he needs to push on from those successes and said: “I really do need to get my foot in the door with the first team this year.

New team members L to R - Jack Hughes, Jamie Ellis, Craig Huby, Oliver Roberts.

“This is the time that I have got to push and try and get a place.

“The competition here at the Giants is brilliant and at times it will be dog eat dog for places, but equally that is a team effort and I want to get my chance.”

Roberts knows that he may have to be patient, but over the past year he realises this is the point he has been working to reach.

“It has been an interesting year since moving from Bradford to Huddersfield and it has certainly been a building process,” he explained.

“I feel I have had a chance and certainly the dual-registration set-up gives a chance to play and helps improve your game.

“Then to get a chance to play in the Europeans was great and it was really good to play at that level.

“It is international rugby and it really is a very good standard, so for me it was another step up and another opportunity to prove myself.

“You are playing against the likes of Broughy, Dale Ferguson who I was with at the Bulls and obviously played for the Giants too, and Koppy with Wales, so it really was a genuine test.”

Giants back for pre-season training.Head coach Paul Anderson.

And the 19-year-old is looking forward to doing more work with the Giants newcomers from Australia’s NRL competition – playmaker Ryan Hinchcliffe, signed from Melbourne Storm, and former Kiwi international prop Sam Rapira, who has arrived from New Zealand Warriors.

“It is great to be working alongside the two guys who have come in from the NRL.

“They bring a lot of experience and it ups the level of competition, but there are a lot of homegrown guys in the squad who provide that too.

“Once it comes round to the games at the start of next year everyone will be wanting a place.

“That just means we all work that bit harder and, because of that, the squad are doing well now we are back to training.”

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To start the pre-Christmas push on the training front the Giants players took on the challenge of the wall at Huddersfield Sports Centre’s climbing facility, and Roberts said a mixture in training was helping.

“It was good try-out, something else, and it was great for team bonding,” said Roberts.

“The close season training has been hard, but it has been good to get back to work.

“But what we all really want to do now is get back out on the field.”