Giants’ teenager signs on loan

Date published: Thursday, June 27, 2013
AN old pals’ act paved the way for Oldham RL Club’s capture last night of Huddersfield Giants’ highly-rated young prop Nathan Mason.

The 19-year-old Oldham-born front-rower, formerly a junior at Waterhead, comes to Whitebank on a month’s loan and will link up with his home-town club for the first time at training tonight.

He comes highly recommended by the Giants’ head coach Paul Anderson, who played in the same star-spangled Bradford Bulls side as Oldham boss Scott Naylor between 1999 and 2003.

They were team mates on many big occasions, including three Challenge Cup finals at Twickenham, Murrayfield and the Millennium Stadium.

“We’ve kept in touch ever since,” said Naylor. “We often chat about players. Nathan was one of the young players we have spoken about in the past.

“When I raised his name again, Paul spoke very highly about him and expressed the belief that a move on loan to Oldham would provide him with invaluable experience at this stage of his development.

“He’s been playing at under-19s level, but Paul believes he is ready to step up to a level where the challenge will be more physical.

“He’s been on my radar for a few weeks as an Oldham lad who might fancy a crack with his hometown team while he waits for his big chance in Super League with the Giants.

“I’m looking forward to working with him. Hopefully, he will enjoy his time with us and go back to Huddersfield having benefited from a taste of senior rugby in Championship One.”

Naylor, who could be without the injured Jason Boults for up to six weeks, moved quickly for Mason when Salford’s Jordan Walne, who played for Roughyeds against Hemel Stags on dual registration, went to Workington Town on loan.

The Huddersfield teenager, who lives in Waterhead, will train with Oldham on Thursdays and Saturdays, while spending the remainder of his working week with the Giants.

He played at Waterhead from the age of 10 to 16 when he signed for the Giants. After three years there, he has recently signed a first-team contract and has become a full-time professional.

Said Mason: “I’ve been playing for the under-19s at Huddersfield, but I can’t wait for this new challenge, especially in my home town. It excites me.

“Paul (Anderson) thinks the experience will be of value, and that’s good enough for me.”

* ORSA, the Roughyeds’ supporters’ association, meets next Wednesday, July 3, at the Lyceum Theatre, Union Street (7.30pm). All fans are welcome.

The association’s Squad Strengthener fund contributed to the club’s signing on loan of Halifax half-back Anthony Bowman.

“We were delighted to help,” said ORSA chairman Nigel Marland, who is urging fans to back the association and become actively involved.