They are now an established Super League side, but it’s not all been plain sailing in the summer game for Huddersfield.
After a failed merger with Sheffield and their subsequent relegation around the turn of the millennium, the Giants finally proved themselves in the top division, improving until they secured the League Leaders’ Shield in 2013. In that time, a number of stars have donned the famous claret and gold, five of whom are included in this list.
Following a colourful start to his Super League career with Hull, Castleford and Wakefield, Danny Brough made the short move to Huddersfield ahead of the 2010 season. It was a match made in heaven as Brough would go on to help the Giants become regular play-off finishers, as well as proving the catalyst for Huddersfield’s League Leaders’ Shield triumph in 2013. The wily halfback won the Man of Steel for his efforts after setting a new Huddersfield record for the most points in a season with 332. Brough spent nine seasons at the John Smith’s Stadium, leaving at the end of 2018 after registering 1,815 points in just under 250 games. The number seven really did transform the Giants on the field with his masterful kicking game and intelligence.
Perhaps one of the most underrated players in the league, Michael Lawrence has spent all of his career at the Giants so far, registering almost 250 appearances and crossing the whitewash 50 times. The forward ran out in a Huddersfield shirt for the first time in 2007, becoming the first player born in the 1990s to make his debut. Aged just 30, Lawrence still has many years left in the game with his peak physical fitness.
Making his debut in 2007, Jermaine McGillvary has forever been one of the first names on the Huddersfield teamsheet. In that time, the powerful winger has notched up 176 tries in 262 games, earning a place in the 2015 Super League Dream Team with 27 tries.
Like Lawrence and McGillvary, Leroy Cudjoe came through the Huddersfield ranks and has been a cornerstone of the side ever since his debut in 2008. With almost 600 points in 287 games, the fleet-footed centre enjoyed a testimonial in 2018 and, after an injury ravaged few years, was back to his best in 2020.
A rampaging presence for 16 Rugby League years, Eorl Crabtree will forever be remembered at the John Smith’s Stadium. Adored by Huddersfield fans and mocked by rival supporters, the prop forward made 350 appearances in the claret and gold. Regularly playing at the top of his game, Crabtree earned 14 England caps whilst with the Giants, with his tremendous work rate and passion perhaps deserving more.