Leeds half-back makes short-term Championship loan move

Jacob Fairbank Halifax Panthers Kai Morgan SWpix Credit: Alamy
Jacob Fairbank Halifax Panthers Kai Morgan SWpix Credit: Alamy

Championship club Halifax have signed young half-back Kai Morgan on an initial two-week loan deal from Super League giants Leeds.

The Halifax-born playmaker joins his hometown club having enjoyed a successful junior career at local community club Siddal.

Morgan won three Division One titles, three Halifax Cups, two Yorkshire Cups, two Challenge Cups and a National Cup before signing academy terms with the Rhinos.

The 18-year-old helped the Rhinos win the Academy Grand Final in 2022, beating St Helens 26-22 at the Totally Wicked Stadium in September.

Morgan made his first appearance for Rohan Smith’s first team in a pre-season friendly last year. He links up with the Panthers looking for a taste of regular first team action heading into the new season.

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Simon Grix boss delighted to welcome Kai Morgan to Halifax

Panthers coach Simon Grix said: “We are grateful to Rohan and Leeds for lending us Kai for a couple of weeks.

“He’s a local lad, a Siddal junior, of an age where he needs to have a look at men’s rugby to see where he is at.

“He meets a need for us in the next couple of weeks, in terms of thickening us up in the halves.

“Right now that’s all it is, but he is a talented player so I’m excited to see how he goes and down the track you never know.”

Halifax confirm 2023 squad numbers

Halifax Panthers 2023 squad numbers Credit: Alamy
(L-R) James Woodburn-Hall, Joe Keyes and Jake Maizen in action at last year’s World Cup

Halifax have confirmed their squad numbers for 2023, which includes 11 players who have played on the international stage.

James Woodburn-Hall, who played in Jamaica’s first-ever Rugby League World Cup last autumn, has been given the number one shirt at Halifax.

Scotland pair Lachlan Walmsley and Ben Kavanagh will wear the numbers two and 11 respectively. Walmsley represented the Bravehearts in his first World Cup last year, whilst Kavanagh has won 21 caps.

Irish duo Zack McComb and Joe Keyes have been given three and seven by head coach Simon Grix, who also played Ireland during his playing days.

Winger James Saltonstall, who represented Italy at the 2013 World Cup, will don the five jersey for the Panthers.

French pair Louis Jouffret and Kevin Larroyer have been given the six and 31 shirts respectively. Jouffret made his international debut last year, whilst Larroyer has won 15 caps for his homeland.

Rarotonga-born Adam Tangata was part of the Cook Islands squad at the last World Cup and in 2013. The 31-year-old prop will wear the eight shirt for Halifax in 2023.

Entering pre-season on the back of an impressive World Cup with Italy, new signings Ryan King and Jake Maizen will wear 17 and 22 respectively.

Englishman Brandon Moore will captain the Panthers in the upcoming Championship campaign.

Squad numbers in full:

1. James Woodburn-Hall

2. Lachlan Walmsley

3. Zack McComb

4. Ben Tibbs

5. James Saltonstall

6. Louis Jouffret

7. Joe Keyes

8. Adam Tangata

9. Brandon Moore

10. Dan Murray

11. Ben Kavanagh

12. Matty Gee

13. Jacob Fairbank

14. Kyle Wood

15. Will Maher

16. Will Calcott

17. Ryan King

20. Tom Inman

21. Eribe Doro

22. Jake Maizen

23. Nick Rawsthorne

24. Cole Oakley

25. Ben Forster

31. Kevin Larroyer

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