Former Castleford Tigers winger Greg Eden has made a surprise move to the Championship for 2024 after a number of clubs like Leeds Rhinos, Leigh Leopards and Catalans Dragons were reportedly interested.
He has signed for Halifax Panthers replacing Wakefield Trinity signing Lachlan Walmsley agreeing a two year deal. The 32 year old three quarter becomes Liam Finn’s sixth signing ahead of the 2024 Betfred Championship season.
The former Brisbane Broncos, Hull Kingston Rovers and Huddersfield Giants winger will now call The Shay home after making over 200 appearances at the highest level during his career, notching over 150 tries to boot. An England Knights international, Eden was rumoured to be joining Catalans Dragons in the coming days but the Panthers swooped in to secure his signature and keep him in West Yorkshire.
“The move has come on pretty late, to be honest”, said Eden. “I’ve had probably a couple of days to think about it, it’s all come pretty fast. Speaking with Finny and the team at Halifax, I just thought this was the right move for me at this point in my career. I think the transition to part time will be tough. I’ve been pretty much full time my entire career for the last 12 years so it’s going to be a big step and a big change in direction in my life as well. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
“I’d describe myself as a fast, elusive player. A bit of a maverick, I like that bit of attacking flair. Over the last year or so, I’ve played a few different positions as well so I’m quite versatile. Hopefully I can add to this team and play where I’m needed.”
“It’s a nice place, a good stadium and I’m looking forward to getting started. Obviously, I’ll be one of the older heads here pushing over 30. Looking at the rest of the squad it’s all mid twenties so looks like there could be a good balance within the squad. Obviously, they did really well last year and hopefully I can add that little bit extra this year, push on and finish a little bit higher up the table.”
Head Coach Liam Finn was pleased to get Eden over the line, and described the move as a real coup for the club.
“Greg is an important signing for us. A quality player who adds X Factor and genuine speed to our backline. He’s a good personality for the group who we will be looking to get into open space as often as we can. He also improves our ability to get out of our own half when under pressure which was an area we felt we needed to increase to share the workload.”
He becomes the third signing for the club today after the arrival of Connor Davies and youngster Sam Campbell. Campbell joins the Panthers on a one year contract ahead of the 2024 Betfred Championship season. The 19 year old former Huddersfield Giants academy graduate moves to The Shay after spending a season in the reserves at the John Smiths Stadium.
A youth international for Ireland at under 20 level, the Dublin born loose forward becomes Liam Finn’s fifth new signing as Panthers head coach. And the teenager was excited at the prospect of kickstarting his professional career at The Shay.
“I was delighted to figure out the news”, said Campbell. “I think when Finny rang me, I was on a building site in Dublin so I was chuffed for the rest of the day. It helped me carrying the blocks throughout the rest of the day so I feel really good, really positive.”
“I’d describe myself as a really hardworking player. I like to do whatever I can to help out the boys and make the man next to me’s job easier. I think my game will come on heaps at Halifax. I’ve only been playing the game three years now after playing amateur rugby back in Ireland for a team called Athboy so I think just being around the boys and more the experienced players can really bring on my game quite a bit.”
Panthers head coach Liam Finn commented: “Sam is a lad who’s been in the academy and reserves at Huddersfield. His intent to improve himself, learn and desire to be around quality senior first team players was what attracted us to him. He’s still very young, we are looking to see how quickly he can develop in our group and force himself in and around the first team match day squad.”