I owe Halifax a lot, says Melbourne ace Gareth

Halifax-born star Gareth Widdop has revealed he would love to play for his hometown club one day.

The 23-year old utility back was a member of Halifax’s scholarship scheme before joining NRL champions Melbourne Storm when his family emigrated to Australia when he was 16.

Widdop was back home this week as his Storm side warmed up for tonight’s World Club Challenge clash against Super League Champions Leeds Rhinos with an uncontested run out against Karl Harrison’s men at the Shay on Tuesday.

And Widdop, a prominent member of Storm’s march to Grand Final glory last year, spoke of how happy he was to be back at the Shay.

He said: “It’s great to be back home, I had a great time on the scholarship programme here and I owe the club a lot.

“Every kid when they’re growing up dreams of one day playing for their hometown club so hopefully one day I can come back here and achieve that.”

Widdop and his side face a huge test against the Rhinos. Brian McDermott’s side have won five of the last six Super League Grand Finals, and defeated Manly in this event last year.

“They’re a great side,” said Widdop. “They’ve been to so many finals and got so many great players, the atmosphere’s going to be electric.

“Being a Halifax lad, it would be great to get one over on the Leeds Rhinos!”

As well as fighting for domestic honours, Widdop will be competing on the international scene at the end of the campaign, as he and his England team mates look to capture the Rugby League World Cup for the first time since 1972.

Widdop added: “I’m really looking forward to the World Cup, it’s a massive occasion for the sport and it’s always an honour pulling the England jersey on.

“For now I’m just thinking about Friday night though, it’s going to be a great game.”