York City Knights loaned Irish international Michael Ronan for 2022

The YORK City Knights secured the signing of future Irish international pillar Michael Ronan on a one-year loan from the Huddersfield Giants.

Having joined in 2019, Ronan made his debut, and so far his only appearance for the Super League team in 2020, while last season he spent time on loan at league rivals Betfred of York, Whitehaven and Swinton Lions.

Ronan’s acquisition finalizes the initial roster of head coach James Ford’s squad for 2022 – and the 21-year-old is looking forward to fighting for the job.

“Any good team needs a bit of competition and that’s huge for player development,” Ronan commented. “I think it’s huge for me to get into a team where there are senior members who are going to fight to be in these seventeen every week.

“I really have to prove myself and that also means I have to improve my game. It means I can’t slack off because at the end of the day there will be someone right behind me ready to take it off. shirt off my back. ”

Ronan is a newcomer to the rugby league, having only returned to the sport in 2017. His career picked up quite dramatically from there, and he gave a try at Huddersfield in 2018, then moved on to made its international debut the same year.

In 2020, Ronan played for the Under-20s of the NRL Canberra Raiders before running for Huddersfield in their 19-6 loss to Grand Final finalists Wigan Warriors.

Ronan made four appearances for Haven and Swinton last season, scoring a try at LNER Community Stadium for the latter in the 1895 Knights Cup semi-final victory over the Lions.

He follows in the footsteps of Giants teammate Aiden McGowan by coming to York on loan from John Smiths Stadium.

“Aidan McGowan keeps talking about his time in York, he absolutely loved it,” Ronan said. “I think maybe it’s because he scored with his first touch – I’ve heard that story way too many times.”

“Aidan is one of my best friends and when he came to visit me in Ireland he was telling me all about his time in York. When I had the opportunity to come to York, I was over the moon. Aidan told me all the good things about the club, the facilities, the setup and how professional it is for a championship club.

“I played York twice last year when I was on loan at Swinton and we played a very good team but, more than that, the atmosphere for the fans was exceptional. They don’t stop singing for 80 minutes.

“The stadium facilities are also absolutely exceptional and they are clearly a very good team. As Fordy told me, we are looking to go even further this year and try to see it through.

“It’s a very competitive team and I can’t wait to be a part of it, to get around the guys and I really want to fight with a good championship team in a competitive competition.”

Commenting on his new hire, Ford added, “I am happy to strengthen our mid-range options with Ronan. He’s a relentless, tough player who is keen to add little pieces to his game here and there.

“I can’t wait to work with him and help him realize his potential. ”

Explaining how he got involved in the rugby league for the first time, Ronan explained: “I wanted to play in the union, to make it a pro, and I took a year off because I wanted to change amateur clubs. .

“It’s been a tough year for me because I wanted to play rugby, to have physical contact. I played soccer and hurling, went to the gym but nothing was doing it for me.

“Then I came across the rugby league. I went to a training session and asked what the name of the amateur team was. They laughed at me and said, ‘You don’t play for an amateur team, you play for the Irish U17s.’ ”

And a motivator for Ronan will undoubtedly be a possible World Cup spot with Ireland in next year’s competition to add to the five caps he already has.

“With the World Cup postponed for a year, it’s another opportunity for me to have as many games as possible against adult men under my belt,” he said.

“It’s a huge, huge year for me to give my best to hopefully be chosen to represent Ireland at the end of the year in the World Cup.

“It’s a very important year for me and I feel like there won’t be a better place than York to develop my game, really get involved and play a few minutes against some grown men.”

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