Halifax Panthers have made an exciting announcement as they welcome Adam O’Brien to their squad on a season-long loan from their Super League neighbours, Huddersfield Giants.
The 29-year-old hooker is no stranger to the Panthers, having previously spent time on loan with the club back in 2017. With over 150 Super League appearances under his belt, O’Brien brings a wealth of experience to Simon Grix’s side.
Due to limited game time at the John Smiths Stadium, O’Brien was keen to secure regular playing opportunities and is thrilled to join his hometown team. “With the Adam Milner move to Huddersfield, it’s taken my game time away, and I want to be playing every week, so I think it’s a good move to get some minutes back into my game,” expressed O’Brien.
Describing his strengths, the experienced hooker said, “I feel I’m a good organiser and a bit of a cool head when needed on the pitch. I’m excited for the rest of the season and seeing what I can bring to
the team, hopefully pushing for the top end of the table when it comes to the business end of the year.”
O’Brien is particularly eager to play in front of the passionate Halifax fans at The Shay Stadium. Having attended several games this year, he was impressed by the fantastic atmosphere generated by the supporters. He believes their unwavering support will be a tremendous boost for the players.
Panthers head coach Simon Grix expressed his satisfaction with the addition of O’Brien to the squad, stating, “Adam has become frustrated at his limited game time, and we heard he was looking for a change. We are lacking leadership and direction, specifically in the verbal sense on the field at the moment, so I feel he fits the bill. Adam is experienced and brings those leadership qualities that we are missing.”
Grix emphasised O’Brien’s expertise in directing traffic and bringing players onto the ball. He praised the hooker’s communication skills, noting that his professionalism and attention to detail would have a positive impact on the team.
The decision to acquire O’Brien may raise a few eyebrows, but Grix emphasised the need for change to overcome the obstacles faced by the team, including injuries and bans. He believes that the addition of O’Brien will provide the necessary impetus for improvement.
Halifax Director of Rugby Richard Durgan expressed his delight at securing O’Brien’s services. He highlighted the hooker’s local roots, vast Super League experience, and leadership qualities, which will greatly benefit the team. Durgan added, “As soon as we knew Adam was available, we knew we had to go and get him. We are delighted to have him.”
O’Brien is set to make his debut for the Halifax Panthers in their upcoming match against Swinton Lions in Round 14 of the Betfred Championship on Sunday.