Huddersfield Rugby Union club have re-signed a match-winner looking to rediscover his ‘X factor’ next season.
The man in question is fleet-footed centre Elliot Hodgson, who has been challenged to take National III North apart.
Head coach Gareth Lewis has agreed terms for 2016-17 with the former Huddersfield Giants rugby league player and also with fellow centre Tom Owen.
It’s great news as the bulk of the Lockwood Park squad are already in place, and Lewis feels Hodgson, in particular, has a point to prove after this season’s club relegation.
“Obviously I’m delighted Elliot has chosen to sign a new deal and clearly he is at home playing his rugby at Lockwood Park,” said the boss.
“On his day, Elliot is one of the best broken-field runners at this level and has real X factor.
“However, if we’re all being honest, we have not seen it enough over the course of the season.
“Elliot must lead the way on the pitch in terms of performance level and aim to be one of the best players in National Three next season.”
Owen also has the attitude and versatility the club are looking to foster.
“Tom is a fantastic example of a player who has come through the age grade at Lockwood Park and developed into an established member of the Huddersfield squad,” explained Lewis.
“He has outstanding an attitude towards his rugby and sets the standard in terms of his approach to training and on game day.
“He has filled a role at inside centre over the last few seasons but sees himself best suited to the outside position.
“Tom gives us options and, as a coach, that is what you’re looking for. Its great news that he’s signed a new contract.”
Hodgson and Owen will be in a squad whose strength and conditioning work will be overseen next season by Matt Green.
Head trainer and co-owner of Extreme Conditioning, Green has been in the industry for eight years and previously worked at Huddersfield Giants.
“I firmly believe the squad was not fit enough throughout the course of the season,” said Lewis.
“Our discipline, ability to defend and make decisions under fatigue were all contributing factors in this season’s narrow defeats.
“Knowing Matt, he will challenge the boys in a tough pre-season but make it enjoyable at the same time. It promises to be a fantastic summer at Lockwood Park.”