Billy Gemmell and Erick Alvarado, both playing for the Brantford Broncos in the Ontario Championship this year, have been selected as the outstanding young Ontario players to join England’s Huddersfield Giants Super League club at the end of the month on a three week development program.
The Huddersfield Giants currently sit fourth on the Super League ladder and are coached by former England and Great Britain representative Paul Anderson alongside Assistant Coach and former Canada Wolverines’ Coach Kieron Purtell and former England and Parramatta Eels half Chris Thorman.
CRL Development Manager Paul O’Keefe was instrumental in setting up the opportunity after meeting Huddersfield Giants Chairman Ken Davy during the U19 Commonwealth Nines Championship where Canada placed fourth last year. “Ken was very excited to learn of Canada’s progress in rugby league last year and was especially enthused by the results of the U19’s team. I thought it would be a fabulous opportunity to get some great young Canadian players to train with such a professional and passionate club like the Huddersfield Giants. Ken loved the idea and things have just progressed from there” said Mr. O’Keefe.
Huddersfield Giants Managing Director Richard Thewlis commented “We are delighted to offer this opportunity to two young lads from Canada to spend time with our club. They will quickly see the level that our lads of the same age are at and it’ll be a challenge for them I am sure. Spending three weeks away too will be a huge experience for them and they will make friends for life as well as seeing and being involved in a top flight Rugby organisation. We have a responsibility to help developing nations where we can and I think this is a super venture and we look forward to hosting the lads.”
Brantford Broncos Coach Christian Miller spoke highly of his young player’s “Both Billy and Erick are two of Canada’s brightest talents. I expect them to learn a lot during their stay, but also show the raw talent that they have to offer. Erick is a strong ball carrier and aggressive defender playing in the second row, while Billy has all the required attributes of a top winger; blinding speed, a great vertical and he’s a great finisher”.
Alvarado played two international matches for the Canada Wolverines last year against the England Lionhearts and Jamaica, while Gemmell was the second top try scorer in the Ontario Championship in his rookie season this year. After returning from Huddersfield, both players will join fellow Ontarion Lukas Silver in Vancouver to play their part in the much anticipated Canada Young Wolverines vs England Young Lions on July 25th.