Huddersfield centre signs new deal despite NRL interest

Huddersfield have confirmed that academy product Jake Wardle has signed a new contract to stay with the club until the end of 2023.

The 21-year-old centre has been one of the Giants’ standout performers in 2020, scoring two tries in four of the club’s five games and helping his side sit in fifth place with two games in hand before Super League was suspended.

His new deal comes after several reports that he had received interest from the NRL, with Melbourne Storm reportedly offering him the chance to test himself down under.

However he has chosen to stay in West Yorkshire for the time being, insisting he is pleased with how far he’s come with the Giants.

“I am happy at the club and with the progress I have made over the past couple of years and that is the biggest reason why I have extended my contract,” he told the Huddersfield official club website. “I’ve got a good relationship with the staff and their belief in me made it a much easier decision.

Wardle has scored nine tries in 26 games since his debut in 2016. Credit: News Images

“My aims for the next few years is just to stay consistent and maintain my place in the team but for us as a squad it’s to compete with the top teams and try eventually to win some silverware, and with the squad we’ve got and the culture we’ve built we believe we can.

“While it has been very mentally challenging being at home all day and not knowing when we’ll be back playing, the break has made me eager to get back into training and back playing every week and I’m sure everybody at the club feels the same.”

Giants head coach Simon Woolford added: “Jake is a smart kid who has a fantastic understanding of the game. He’s a quiet kid who doesn’t say a lot, but certainly makes a lot of sense when he does.

“He has shown great faith in the Giants, and we look forward to repaying that faith in continuing to develop our squad into a force capable of competing for Super League titles.

“I think Jake has the potential to not only become a representative player, but actually dominate at that level. Physically he’s developed immensely over the past 2 years, with that has come more consistent time on the field and in his performances.”

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