Halifax, Huddersfield and Hunslet to field joint reserves side after signing partnership deal

Halifax will field a jointly-run reserve side with Huddersfield and Hunslet
Halifax will field a jointly-run reserve side with Huddersfield and Hunslet

Halifax have signed a unique three-way partnership agreement with West Yorkshire neighbours Huddersfield and Hunslet.

The deal, which will see the Super League, Championship and League 1 sides dual-register players on a week-to-week basis, also paves the way for a jointly run reserve side, featuring developing players from all three clubs.

The partnership team will run out under the Giants branding, as dictated by RFL rules, but is expected to feature pooled talent when the season kicks off in February.

Reserve grade games are likely to take place at the Shay and the South Leeds Stadium as well as in Huddersfield under the three year deal, which will be ‘jointly reviewed’ at the end of 2020.

Fax, forced to scrap their second-string set up in the autumn because of rising costs, had been actively searching for a workable alternative since then.

Halifax football manager Ian Croad added: “As a club, we have been standard bearers for the concept of reserve team rugby league over the last four years.

“Having made the extremely difficult decision to withdraw from next season’s competition, largely because of the increased financial burden on the business, we were keen to explore more innovative solutions to the problem facing us.

“We are confident this long-term deal will maintain the player pathways we have worked so hard to create, while also providing our coach Simon Grix with enhanced resources at Championship level.”

The tie-up with the Giants will be Fax’s fourth dual-registration arrangement after deals with Hull KR, Salford and Castleford.

Huddersfield’s managing director Richard Thewlis said: “With Halifax’s central funding cut and our squad all needing games, a partnership seemed a good fit and then when Hunslet approached Halifax in a similar vein it made more sense to include them as well to widen the pool of players available to us all.

“The reality will be as this beds in that some Giants players will play Championship rugby for Halifax and some Halifax players will play League One for Hunslet.

“We will jointly review the position after the first year but the intention if logistically possible will be to continue for a three year period.

“There will be an open door policy at our training centre and stadium for any of the staff to come in and see how we operate and share ideas and best practice.”